REDMOND, OR -- The Oregon Community College Association warns Governor Kate Brown’s proposed 2019-21 budget could force double-digit tuition increases and program cuts. Matt McCoy, Central Oregon Community College's Vice President for Administration, shares that concern. But, he says there is a bright spot in Brown’s proposal: $8 million for construction of a new building on COCC's Redmond campus.
McCoy says it’s important to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city, "All the population projections that we see put Central Oregon, as a region, growing to large numbers. So, we want to anticipate and be in front of that growth as much as we can. If we find ourselves behind the Eight-Ball and playing catch-up in five to 10 years from now, it’s going to be much more difficult and much more expensive to meet the demands of the community." He tells KBND News a new building is critical to the Redmond campus' future success, "We need a place where we can provide student services, student support services, perhaps food services, library services, things like that. But, from the instructional side of the house, we’re looking for a place where can have more fulltime faculty that are located there, in Redmond. And, we also would like a general purpose classroom building with advanced technology and science labs that would allow us to provide most, if not all, of our science courses."
If the Legislature approves the funding during the next session, which begins in January, COCC would need to come up with matching dollars. McCoy says, "We can acquire those dollars in multiple ways: through a bond, through our general fund accumulating over a number of years, through gifts from the community, etc. So, although the state could invest $8 million, we anticipate the cost of the building being at least $16+ million." He says exactly how that funding would be secured and where, specifically, the new facility would be built, has yet to be decided.