BEND, OR -- Experts hired by OSU-Cascades presented their analysis of a 46-acre former pumice mine, under consideration for the school's expansion. They addressed the viability of the site, which sits adjacent to the 10-acres currently under construction on Bend's west side. OSU-Cascades Vice President of Finance Kelly Sparks was pleased with the report. She tells KBND, “I feel very bullish about the findings. They’re coming back positive. They’re coming back telling us it’s a safe, buildable, accessible site that we can build a campus on.”
Manageable concerns presented by the due diligence experts include steep slopes into the mine; some fill materials not deemed "clean" by the DEQ and an earthquake fault line that runs through the property, although they say it poses no serious threat. Many at Monday's presentation voiced health concerns about dust from construction trucks.
The price tag for reclaiming the site is $7.6-million. Sparks says the college will take it’s time to make a decision to purchase the mine. “Due diligence is, we want to do it right. We don’t want to rush a process. We don’t want to force an answer. We want to make sure we get all of the information. This is a hundred-year campus. We have to make the right decision for the next hundred years.” OSU-Cascades hopes to make a decision on whether to purchase the property by the beginning of 2016.