By JAMES DAY

Corvallis Gazette-Times

What role should the city of Corvallis have as Oregon State University works to provide more on-campus housing for its growing enrollment?

That was the question the Collaboration Corvallis neighborhood planning workgroup wrestled with at its meeting Tuesday at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

The group discussed and debated a motion by workgroup member Betty Griffiths to recommend the formation of another workgroup to examine on-campus housing.

“The intent of this motion is to ask that people seriously examine this and seriously work on it,” Griffiths said.

The motion posed a conflict in the eyes of workgroup member Dan Larson, associate director for operations and facilities and Oregon State’s University Housing and Dining Services.

“This motion puts on hold work that we are doing right now to address the need,” Larson said, noting that the university doesn’t want to wait for recommendations of a workgroup.

“If we have one group looking at student housing while OSU also is looking at it. ... It seems that they would be at odds with each other.”

Ultimately Griffiths abandoned the idea of a new workgroup and suggested attacking the issue through OSU’s own processes, including an update of its master plan.

“I just want something to happen. Whether it’s through (OSU) or another workgroup,” Griffiths said.

Larson agreed, and the workgroup eventually passed a motion that “requests that OSU place a priority on exploring public-private partnerships and other options for innovative on-campus village-style development to house students, faculty and staff.”

The neighborhood planning workgroup meets next Oct. 18. It and the other two workgroups in the Collaboration Corvallis process, are working to assemble recommendations that the project’s steering committee will consider in late November.

All initiatives that come out of the project must be approved by the Corvallis City Council and the leadership at OSU.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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