There could be new life coming to Mountain Meadows Farm – as a [branch] college campus. But first the group proposing the idea – which is in the very early stages and being headed by former Washington State Lt. Governor Brad Owen – wants community input.
Alexis Hujar of Mountain Meadows Farm said a public meeting to share information about the project will be held on August 31, 2017 at 6:30PM. She said the group wants the proposal to reflect what the community wants and needs. The meeting will be held on the farm and refreshments will be served.
Mountain Meadows Farm was purchased in February 2016 by Mr. Chunlai Hou, described as an international entrepreneur with 20 years experience in education, student housing and technology. Now a permanent resident, Mr. Hou is currently living with his family on the farm.
Next year he plans to launch Washington Technology University in Bellevue. Mountain Meadows Farms is proposed to become the North Bend campus, focusing on viniculture and agriculture. The college also plans to offer high-tech and hotel management degrees on the Bellevue campus. They state on their website that the courses “will reflect the needs of Amazon, Microsoft and wineries in Washington.”
The nearly 200-acre Mountain Meadows Farm still cannot be developed, though. Development rights were sold 30 years ago and only allows for three single-family homes on the property, and only 5% of the large farm to be non-tillable.
Proposal for North Bend
The proposal for the North Bend campus include offering a BS in Agricultural Technology and in Viniculture. According to the Future of Mountain Meadows Farm website, the property would continue to be a working farm, with the hopes of being able to open it to the public for civic events and night classes.
Rumors have been circulating on social media that the North Bend Campus would include a large dormitory and thousands of cars traveling to the campus each day, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The North Bend campus would only have about 350 students on it at one time. The entire small college is planned to have 1,000 – 2,000 students, but because of development restrictions on the Mountain Meadows property, the whole college cannot be located in North Bend.
Again, the group says everything is in the very early stages and invites the community to the August 31st meeting at Mountain Meadows Farm to hear more about the project.
Mountain Meadows Farm was formerly a dairy farm, and then later developed into an equestrian estate and a venue for large corporate, private and community events. It is located in unincorporated King County and outside the city limits of North Bend, but the City of North Bend plans to have representatives at the meeting as it has concerns about potential traffic and environmental impacts.
If you cannot attend the meeting, you can still visit the Future of Mountain Meadows Farm website to learn more and email in feedback.