Bellevue College campus plan is moving forward

July 2, 2013

By Peter Clark

Bellevue College is slowly but surely still coming to the Issaquah Highlands.

Though the project was prolonged due to the economic recession and the replacement of college President Jean Floten with David Rule, Bellevue College has continually expressed its intention to move forward and develop an Issaquah campus.

Public Relations Manager David Sandler said the campus, now referred to as the East Campus, has begun to pick up speed in its realization. In a couple of weeks, Bellevue College is expected to seek a site development permit from the Development Service Department.

“We have a contract between the city and the college to develop a master plan,” he said. “We’re working slowly but steadily to make a plan that meets the needs of the community.”

“We expect them to submit a site development permit in the next month or so,” Development Services Department Project Oversight Manager Christopher Wright said in a June 13 interview.

The process for establishing a campus in Issaquah has been in the works for several years. Sandler said the land was purchased in 2010 and since then, the college has held a number of public open houses. He said the organization has attempted to engage the city’s citizens to determine what they expect from the campus.

“We’re always looking to involve the community as much as possible,” he said, listing the growth in the region as one of the main reasons Bellevue College chose the location for expansion. “The former president felt we should be in this area, and we are really focused on serving the community.

When completed, it will be the third campus for the college, including the main campus and the existing one in Redmond.

City Economic Development Director Keith Niven said residents could expect a positive result from the establishment of a higher learning facility.

“Obviously, we’re excited,” he said. “It’s been unfortunate that it’s taking a little bit longer than we expected. The real question is: When can the first building begin construction?”

Niven said plans have already been devised for the land. Before the blueprints can be presented to the Development Service Department, he said that they had to be internally approved.

“I think the community will really like the plan they have for their buildings,” he said of Bellevue College. “They want to include keeping the area forested.”

The highlands location is expected to be approximately 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet.


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