MADRAS, OR -- Central Oregon Community College plans to more than double the size of its Madras campus over the next two years. Campus Director Jeremy Green says the new 15,000-square foot facility will bring new education, training and childcare programs to Jefferson County. "Not wanting to say ‘what can COCC do for Madras,’ but really, ‘what does the community need and how can COCC help meet those needs’ has been our approach," Green tells KBND News, "And this is what we’re doing: early childhood education, health careers and partnering up with the Children’s Learning Center to bring roughly 100 new childcare slots to the community of Madras."
Green says it’s a 60-mile roundtrip for students to access those programs in Bend, "A lot of our Madras students, they’re ‘place-bound’ when we talk about distances of that length. And so, the health careers and the public health program, Madras will be the second site for those COCC offerings. Those offerings are only available in Bend."
He says the new daycare facility will be open to area families, "Madras is known to be a childcare desert, meaning there is not enough slots in the community to meet the current childcare need. So to bring 100 additional childcare slots to the community of Madras is something that - that’s a big deal. That’s a need that’s going to be met with this expansion."
The 26-acres needed for the facility were donated by The Bean Foundation. Green says the rest of the $12 million project will come from donors and government funding.
He expects construciton to begin in the spring, with opening planned for fall of 2024.