The college restructured an agreement to receive more land to develop the Madras campus.
Central Oregon Community College originally developed an agreement with the Madras-based Bean Foundation in 2001. That original agreement allowed COCC to receive 15 acres with the possibility of receiving up to a total of 50-acres in three phases. The first land donation came with the requirement of the college constructing 8,500 square feet by 2006. However, due to complications, the college didn’t quite met the obligation. COCC opened their current 10,000-square-foot Madras campus in 2011.
“Our hope was that we’d have the funds in hand to build and we didn’t,” McCoy said. “The planets didn’t align financially to build in the short term time frame like we’d wanted to.”
Due to not meeting the original deadline, COCC was not eligible to receive the second and third land plots at that point. However, after restructuring the agreement, it is now a possibility.
“The Bean foundation was very generous in giving flexibility to move forward with this,” McCoy said.
The foundation, originally founded by L.A. Bean, has already had a large presence in the Madras community, according to McCoy. The foundation has supported parks, coordination with school district all to support their mission of developing access to higher education within the community.
“It is one of those benevolent entities that really has made a major impact on the community,” McCoy said.
The foundation’s goal is to provide higher education opportunities to Jefferson county–a goal that “isn’t wedded” McCoy noted.
“COCC is lucky to have such a wonderful and generous partner in the Bean Foundation,” said Courtney Snead, Madras campus coordinator. “They have a vision for the community that includes opportunities for youth and adult learners, and we are excited to plan for the future growth of the Madras Campus.”
Under the restuctured terms, Bean Foundation will give COCC a second piece of land. The requirements for the land are that COCC would have 17,000 total square feet built by 2021. After that point, the third parcel would allow the college to construct a total of 25,500 square feet by 2026.
Since, 2011, even though the overall COCC enrollment has seen a slight trend downward, Madras campus enrollment has been increasing, according to McCoy. In addition to increasing enrollment on the Madras campus, COCC has also seen growth in demand for educational services in the northern part of the district.
““The demand was expressed to us by the folks that are wanting educational services there. Plus we have our own commitment and feel obligated to provide educational services to the community — it’s the right thing to do,” McCoy said.
For more coverage of the Madras expansion go to thebroadsideonline.com/news
Molly Svendsen | The Broadside