Students outside OSU's Valley Library. The city targets OSU as a key resource for new research-based businesses.
The university’s new collaboration with the city will help OSU alleviate neighborhood livability concerns, says spokesman Todd Simmons. “There is a different engagement between city staff and university staff that we hope is easing tensions,” he says, adding the university also wants to build at least one new residence hall over the next few years.
Four years after Hewlett-Packard made its last big round of layoffs, Corvallis is beginning to tackle a classic metropolitan problem: how to spur economic growth while retaining livability. It’s no easy task. Even as the city seeks to resolve issues of “town and gown,” city councilors have yet to fund core staff positions associated with the new economic development plan, leaving many action items in limbo. “To move ahead with the strategy, we need to have that staffing model in place,” says Ken Gibb, the city’s community development director.
Despite uncertainties, public and private sector leaders are confident the city will rise to the occasion. “Corvallis is a little jewel,” says Pat Lampton, owner of Inkwell, a downtown home store. “There’s just a new reality that the economy is something we need to pay attention to that had been sidelined before.”