COCC and local developer form a unique partnership for campus village

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Pat Crampton

Journalism 216

Central Oregon Community College’s plan to develop vacant land into the Campus Village represents an unusual partnership between a community college and a local developer.

COCC is partnering with Bill Smith, the developer of the Old Mill District, to develop Campus Village. It will be located at the intersection of Mt. Washington Drive and Shevlin Park Road.

“I have not seen anywhere else in the country with a partnership with a college or university and a master developer,” said Matt McCoy, vice president for administration at COCC.

McCoy said that colleges and developers don’t usually split revenue 50-50 like COCC is planning to do with Smith. McCoy is overseeing the project for COCC and he says the college is working closely with Smith.

The agreement between the college and Smith will extend for the first 20 years of the project said McCoy. But the college and Smith will reconsider their contract, which was approved by the COCC board of directors earlier this year on an annual basis he said.

“It’s one of the few [projects] I see as a win-win,” said Smith.

McCoy said that most colleges don’t have access to vacant land like COCC does, which is one reason the college has gone forward with this project.

The college is also moving forward because administrators believe the project will be a “good source of revenue,” said McCoy.

The college currently depends on the state for roughly 30 percent of its revenue, said McCoy saying also that with the revenue from Campus Village the college would be able to offset any reduction in state dollars.

In fact, if the project can be built out in a timely fashion, in the first 25 years, the college hopes to earn about $4 million in revenue from the project, according to documents provided by McCoy.

COCC hopes that their infrastructure investment of $300,000 in  Campus Village will break even in the first five to seven years of the project.

Currently, the college is building the first Campus Village facility: the Culinary Center. It is expected to be completed sometime next year.

The next step for the Campus Village is not yet determined but Smith said there is a lot that can be done even if the uses of buildings will be decided in the future.

“We can build buildings and then later make them in to class rooms if we need to,” Smith said.

Regardless of building usages, McCoy said that “Ten years is a reasonable expectation for building phase 1.”

Phase 1 could include the Culinary Center as well as other facilities related to the culinary institute, said Smith.

“(First the) culinary institute, then let your mind wander on what it will look like after that,” Smith said. “It’s a fun project.”

Although the project is unusual, a goal will be fulfilled.

“Make money. For both COCC and for me,” said Smith.

You may contact Pat Crampton at broadsidemail@cocc.edu

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