College secures land in Hood River

September 17, 2005

Columbia Gorge Community College will secure a permanent campus in Hood River this coming week, as officials prepare to close Monday on an approximate 12.5-acre site just west of 12th Street on the Heights.

The college is purchasing the parcel, which borders Indian Creek, from London-based Icon Holdings LLC for $1.3 million.

Since announcing the pending sale earlier this summer, the college conducted a “due diligence” phase, investigating the site’s geology, hydrology, land use, traffic access and other conditions prior to completing the purchase.

College directors heard a report from those various contractors in executive session Sept. 13.

No significant adverse issues arose from the investigation, they learned. The due diligence phase was scheduled for completion this past Friday.

“It’s coming together very well,” said Dennis Whitehouse, the college’s director of facility services. “Our due diligence team performed very well in a short time period. The college is excited about the potential of its site in Hood River, and looking forward to serving students and patrons in Hood River. We think this is a great site.”

Whitehouse said the site review found several minor springs, none of which are expected to interfere with potential building locations. Contractors will conduct test drillings to gain a better idea of subsurface conditions once those locations are established early next year. No significant on-site contamination was discovered.

Existing utilities are considered adequate to serve the site, and traffic studies will be conducted to investigate campus access.

“It’s the college’s desire to tie into the traffic light at 12th and Pacific,” Whitehouse said. “We will work with Oregon Department of Transportation to accomplish a series of traffic studies in order to make that happen.”

Traffic safety is a concern along this general stretch of 12th St., where three fatalities have occurred in recent years. The traffic studies will take place over the next one to two months.

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