OSU-Cascades envisioned a highly sustainable, inclusive, and well-integrated campus within its community. Anticipating trends in demographics, technology, and learning, the plan promotes an environment of flexibility, innovation, collaboration, and creativity. A central challenge for the university will be to transform the site—a former landfill and pumice mine—into a vibrant and functional campus. Both the landfill and mine sites are environmentally degraded and structurally unsuitable for development. The master plan proposes a remediation and reclamation strategy to restore these former brownfield areas into an ecologically-rich high desert landscape, and provide a healthy and enriching setting that positively impacts the Bend community. The master plan envisions an environment that is truly of its place in Central Oregon. The landscape strategy celebrates the site’s dramatic topography, high desert habitat, and regenerative ecological rehabilitation.
Acquiring the landfill site, which makes up 72-acres of the 128-acre campus, was necessary to accommodate the 5,000 student enrollment in a financially feasible way, but it will also play a critical role in the reclamation and site work for the campus. The former landfill materials can be useful in helping to re-grade the university’s pumice mine site, making it more developable. The 100-foot-deep pumice mine will need significant grading, fill to 40 feet deep, and slope stabilization to accommodate development. Conversely, the landfill cells will need to be excavated, providing on-site fill material for the mine site. Acquiring the landfill allows the university to more efficiently and cost effectively grade the property in preparation for the future campus. Using landfill materials on site rather than hauling off site reduces environmental and community impacts by eliminating more than 101,000 truck trips, making this creative solution broadly beneficial.
Page; also SERA Architects; PAE; Biohabitats; Walker Macy; ABHT; DOWL; Karen Braitmayer; Maul Foster & Alongi