Yesterday’s update regarding the Governor’s recommended capital budget had a couple of glitches and should have included a broader discussion regarding the OSU-Cascades project.
OSU-Cascades Campus Expansion
OSU is seeking, and the HECC has recommended, a $69.5 million campus expansion for OSU-Cascades which includes:
- $20 million in site reclamation and campus infrastructure improvements necessary for construction;
- $39 million in bonds for a new academic building (matched by $10 million in donor funds);
- $10 million in bonds (matched by $5 million in student fees); and
- $500,000 for a renovation of the Graduate Center.
The Governor’s recommended budget included the first $20 million for site preparation and infrastructure improvements. (This element was endorsed by all seven university presidents.)
Governor Brown’s commitment of $20 million in her recommended capital budget to prepare the construction site for the expansion of the OSU-Cascades campus is a significant step in the right direction. The university is grateful for her recognition of the need to increase higher education capacity in this underserved region. Earnest money of this magnitude clearly demonstrates a commitment to expand the campus, but it will not result in improved services to students in the region in the near future.
As the Governor recognized in her comments, the budget involves many difficult decisions. There is still much to be done to address the needs of students and employers in the Central Oregon region. Central Oregon is geographically isolated from other universities and OSU-Cascades is well positioned to support HECC’s charge to serve underrepresented, first generation, and rural students.
Another academic building is desperately needed in Central Oregon to accommodate the enrollment growth the region anticipates in the next few years at OSU-Cascades. At its current capacity the 10-acre campus can serve no more than 1,890 students; enrollment is currently 1,122.
OSU and the Central Oregon region look forward to continuing this conversation with the Governor and Oregon legislators, and working together to find opportunities that could fully fund the project.
University Capital Funding
The HECC Agency Request Budget prioritized the original “Tier One” projects recommended by the seven university presidents earlier this year. At the request of the Governor, the HECC also prioritized additional OSU-Cascades projects that had not been included in the Tier One. In November, UO sought additional state capital as a partial match for its Knight Campus project. At that time, the HECC raised the rankings of two Cascades projects – the Site Reclamation for $9 million and Infrastructure for $11 million and inserted the Knight Campus project for $100 million at #13. This resulted in the projects originally ranked at #11 or below all moving down three steps, including the OSU Fairbanks project moving from #13 to #17 (out of a total of 20 projects).
The GRB recommends $269.6 million in capital support.
- ALL – Capital Improvement and Renewal: $45.7 million
- PSU – Grad Education Building: $40.5 million
- OSU – Quality Food & Beverage Building: $9 million
- OSU – Gilkey Hall Renovation: $3 million
- EOU – Information Technology Equipment Facility: $1.2 million
- OSU – Cordley Hall Renovation Phase I: $15 million
- OIT – Cornett Hall Renovation: $38 million
- UO – Classroom Building: $44 million
- SOU – Central Hall Deferred Maintenance: $6 million
- WOU – Oregon Military Building Renovation: $7.7 million
- OSU-Cascades – Site Reclamation: $9 million
- OSU-Cascades – Infrastructure: $11 million
- UO – Knight Campus: $34 million
- EOU – Loso Hall Renovation, Phase I: $5.5 million
New project not previously considered by HECC:
All campuses, including community colleges, campus security measures allocated via competitive bid (based on recommendations by the Governor’s campus security task force): $15 million
- OSU – Fairbanks $11 million
- OSU-Cascades – Academic Building $39 million
- OSU-Cascades – Student Success Center $10 million
- OSU-Cascades – Graduate and Research Center $490,000
- EOU – Fieldhouse $6 million
- WOU – IT Building $5.5 million
- PSU – Graduate School of Education project reduction of $4.5 million
- OIT – Cornett Hall project reduction of $2 million
- All – $20 million reduction to $45 million for seven campuses for capital renewal and maintenance (2015-17 funding was at the $65 million level)
- UO – $66 million deferral of the Knight challenge grant