Umpqua Community College purchases Casa De Belen property
Written by Patrick Schneider on April 26, 2021
UCC Board of Education approves purchase after anonymous donor contributes $400,000.
ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Umpqua Community College (UCC) Board of Education has approved the College’s request to purchase the property located in Roseburg known as Casa de Belen. The Board
met during a special meeting on Monday, April 26, 2021, to approve the $400,000 purchase request. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, no general fund dollars are being used to purchase this property.
The property, which is located at 1199 NE Grandview Drive, was put up for sale toward the end of 2020 after Casa de Belen ceased its operations. The non-profit organization ran into financial challenges it could not overcome after offering services to homeless and at-risk youth for 16 years.
Part of the building was used by the College to house athletes in the wrestling program. During the special meeting, Doris Lathrop, a long-time director on the Board, made it a point to clarify that the purchase, which is to support the College’s athletic programs, is being made with donor money.
“The building will be used for student housing, primarily of student athletes,” UCC President Debra Thatcher said. “Student athletes are important for meeting enrollment goals, especially for full-time students. Many student athletes choose to go to college because it provides them with an opportunity to play their sport; some would not have attended college otherwise.”
UCC Athletic Director Craig Jackson says the property can currently house 40 students.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to increase enrollment,” Jackson said. “Affordable student housing is always a challenge. Anytime we can find a solution that will help students, we will investigate it.”
The athletics programs at UCC have grown exponentially over the past five years, with women’s soccer and eSports being the latest to join the ranks. Students in these programs have not only contributed to the College’s enrollment, they have made significant impacts on the county’s economy and volunteer service base.
“UCC’s student athletes are valuable to our community,” Dr. Thatcher said. “Not only do these students provide many hours of service to the community, they also provide opportunities for the community to enjoy sports.”
The property’s sale is expected to be finalized in May.