SALEM— Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) announced today the passage of a bill to help fund the purchase of a permanent building for Oregon State University Cascades graduate programs. Rep. Conger said the 2011-13 capital construction budget provides the bonding authority necessary to cover roughly half of the building’s costs.
“The establishment of a facility owned by OSU – Cascades is an important step in the growth, strength and permanence of this local institution,” Rep. Conger said. “The building as envisioned will create significant synergies between OSU and Bend Research, as well as significant economic development opportunities for Central Oregon. This project is an investment in the future of Central Oregon – it will create jobs, help train our local workforce for emerging industries and allow OSU – Cascades to save millions of dollars by buying, rather than leasing, additional space.”
The budget authorizes $2 million in bonding authority, which is backed by state lottery revenues dedicated to economic development. The bond proceeds will be combined with a $1.05 million contribution by OSU – Cascades and an $800,000 contribution from a private donor.
The project, which survived rigorous scrutiny in the Legislative process, met with success based on its merits and the sustained support of local leaders and the community. “We are extremely grateful to Representative Conger for championing this effort, and to Senator Chris Telfer and Representatives Gene Whisnant, Mike McLane, and John Huffman for their co-sponsorship and dedicated support,” said Dr. Becky Johnson, Vice President of OSU – Cascades. “We especially owe thanks to the many Central Oregonians who supported this bill. This was the second time in two years that community demonstrated support for OSU – Cascades and each time it has had significant and positive impact.”
Key lawmakers hailed today’s vote as a major accomplishment for Central Oregon and OSU – Cascades. “Rep. Conger deserves a lot of credit for the investment made in the OSU – Cascades campus. Working with Rep. Whisnant and Sen. Telfer, Rep. Conger worked tirelessly to educate his colleagues and advance the project through the system. I was proud to support a project that will help educate students, create jobs and help stimulate the economy in central Oregon,” said House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna.
“Rep. Conger worked hard to acquire funding for OSU – Cascades new facility,” Said Rep. Dennis Richardson, Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. ‘I greatly appreciate his leadership on this project. This purchase is the perfect example of the kind of common-sense projects the state should be investing in.”