During the second week of May, OSU-Cascades’ planning team will begin the design kickoff for the campus, set to open fall of 2016.
The team working on the construction and design of the school allowed community members to attend educational workshops of the overall status and process of the creation of the school thus far. At their Envision OSU-Cascades workshop, they enabled community members to share what major concerns they still had toward the growing campus.
Shortly after they complete the design phase of the building process, they will dive into exploration of transportation, livability for the students and community, and student housing. This phase is set to begin in July.
Kelly Sparks, OSU-Cascades Associate President and Finance and Strategic planner, opened up the night and allowed the guests to take part in how they thought the campus should look.
They were able to see the square footage of the site and place different buildings, housing structures, and parking areas throughout the lot so that the OSU-Cascades’ planning and design team would be able to get input on how the community would like to see this area.
A major concern for local community members is parking surrounding the campus. As Sparks answered this question, she informed those who were there that they are taking into account the locals’ opinions and the natural habitat into concern. She also made it aware that they will be charging for parking on campus so that off-site parking creates an incentive to commute to school by bus, bike, or carpooling.
The school will also be providing free student bus tickets with the new students’ identification cards.
By allowing the community members a hands-on opportunity to impact the construction of the campus, many are taking into account the possible concerns of the construction, as well as the positives.
“We are building an environment for Central Oregonians on this campus,” Sparks said.
Housing concerns on campus are a steady topic as well. Sparks did explain that there would be different types of housing throughout campus — not just dorms. They hope to bring in a wide range of students from the community, young and old.
The planning team of OSU-Cascades will continue to involve local community members at their public workshops as they head into the following months of official designs for the school.
Olivia Webb | The Broadside