Bellevue College to host forum about proposed Issaquah campus

April 11, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:50 a.m. April 11, 2012

Bellevue College plans to gather public input as proposals coalesce for a planned satellite campus in the Issaquah Highlands — a long-term goal for city and college leaders.

The college scheduled a forum for 6 p.m. May 1 at the highlands’ Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, to learn what citizens want for potential course offerings, campus planning, building design and more.

College officials invited residents from Issaquah, Newcastle, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and elsewhere to the forum.

“Our goal is to hear from as many people as possible, because there are so many great ideas out there as to how we should develop this campus,” interim college President Laura Saunders said. “It’s important for the end result to reflect the needs and desires of the community this campus will serve.”

The forum is the latest phase in a plan to engage stakeholders — nearby residents, current and potential students, elected representatives and government officials — in the planning process.

In August 2010, college administrators announced plans to purchase 20 acres in the highlands and create a satellite campus in the burgeoning neighborhood. Then-President Jean Floten offered a bold vision for the proposed campus in the months after the deal closed. (Floten departed Bellevue College last year to lead WGU Washington, the state’s online university.)

Officials plan to construct a single building in the highlands for the initial phase and then add space in the years ahead, as resources and demand increase.

In September 2011, officials said construction could start on the campus in 2012, but planners later revised the ambitious timetable.

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