Representative Jason Conger introduced HR 3627 to provide $1,950,000 in Lottery Bonds to help fund the purchase of an existing building for OSU-Cascades’ expansion. The intention is to move OSU’s graduate programs and create an OSU-Cascades Graduate and Research Center.
OSU-Cascades is out of space in its current location, and needs space for enrollment and program growth. Moving the graduate programs will allow both undergraduate and graduate programs to expand in the future.
OSU-Cascades is trying to take advantage of a real estate market where existing space is less expensive than building new facilities. However, they don’t have the funds to purchase a new building without state assistance. Representative Conger’s bill, with the support of Representatives Whisnant and McLane, and Senator Telfer, would match funds from OSU-Cascades and a private donor to make this project a reality.
Bend Research plans to lease part of the building for a research and development facility that would likely be accessible to graduate students and faculty.
“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 economic development opportunities for Central Oregon. This project will create jobs and help students start a career in emerging industries.”
Rod Ray CEO of Bend Research added, “Right here in Central Oregon we need highly educated employees for our current and projected growth. Bend Research is excited at the prospect of locating a new research and development facility with OSU Cascades graduate programs. It will allow us to collaborate with students and faculty to imagine new technologies, enhance the graduate programs and develop a local skilled workforce for the future.”
The shared facility, which could also house the Governor’s Regional Solutions Center, would result in significant savings to the university and the state general fund. In fact, this bill allows OSU Cascades to save about $225,000 per year by buying, rather than leasing, additional space.
It’s a great plan that we hope the legislature will embrace. PHA