Oregon State University-Cascades

Oregon State University-Cascades held a public meeting Monday about the potential of building on a former pumice mine in west Bend.

The 46-acre pumice mine is right next to the 10 acres already being developed by OSU-Cascades for its four-year campus.

The university hired several firms to determine if the site could work for a campus expansion.

Geotechnical engineer Brad Wilcox said there are some complications with building on the mine site, like steep slopes and filling in mined areas.   

“But with proper construction techniques and good plans developed in accordance with our recommendations this is a buildable site, in our opinion,” said Wilcox. 

Meeting attendees expressed concerns about dust associated with remediation at the site, as well as the cost. Remediation could cost more than $7 million.

OSU has not committed to purchasing the land, but the university said its board will likely make a decision later this fall.