The board of directors of Central Oregon Community College agreed at their Jan. 29 meeting to sell five acres of land near the top of Awbrey Butte to Glassow Ventures LLC for $1.85 million, according to Ron Paradis, the college’s director of College Relations.
The vote was six to one in favor of the sale. Paradis said the buyer now has about a month to look over the parcel and its title before presenting a nonrefundable deposit. The Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Board has not yet decided how to use the proceeds of the sale, according to COCC Board Chairman Don Reeder.
Paradis said three market appraisals of the land averaged just over $1.8 million, with one at $1.4 million, so "the board shot high to see what we could get. In the long run, there were a couple of other offers, but none that were accepted."
Known as the Observatory Court property, the parcel was originally listed for sale for $3.5 million in October 2005. Last year a restriction that the land could be divided into no more than three lots was lifted.
COCC originally bought the property in the 1960s for a "nominal fee" of $10 from J.C. Vandevert, a local physician and surgeon. At one time, a small observatory that was used by astronomy classes was located on the property. With the development of Awbrey Butte, the increasing ambient light made this location for an observatory impractical, college officials said. The land, about a mile from the rest of the campus, has not been used in more than a decade, and the COCC board saw no potential use.