In one of its last acts before adjourning, the Oregon Legislature approved a package of construction bonds that includes money for Oregon State University to launch a new 4-year campus in Central Oregon.

While OSU Cascades offers degrees in about 20 different programs, students need to fulfill core requirements elsewhere. Many get those credits at Central Oregon Community College, which shares a campus with OSU Cascades.

The $16 million in general fund bonds will be combined with other sources to establish the new campus at a yet-to-be-decided location.

Becky Johnson is Vice President for OSU Cascades. She says many Central Oregon parents currently send their children out of the region to attend school.

"That's a significant expense. There's probably an added $20,000 a year that they have to put up for their students to attend a four-year university. So it's really a big deal," said Johnson.

Johnson says the expansion will also have significant effect on the local economy. OSU is projecting an additional 3000 to 5000 students by the year 2025. The first freshmen are expected to begin classes in the fall of 2015.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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