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Demolition begins on Rock Creek’s Building 5

Photos and Story by

August 13, 2014
By Karen Kane

The next big thing is happening at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus. Beginning the week of August 11, a significant portion of Building 5 will be demolished to make way for a 63,000 square-foot addition, nearly doubling its size. The construction is just part of $63 million in planned improvements at Rock Creek made available from $374 million voter-approved bond program passed in 2008.

Click here to view the stop-motion video with live updates of the demolition and construction of Rock Creek’s Building 5!

Building 5 housed classrooms, offices for Facilities Management Services and Public Safety, and the campus’ recreational sports complex. Fitness facilities, including a full court gym, lockers, showers and a combined circuit and free weight room, will remain open during construction.

building 5 before and demo composite

Left: Building 5 prior to demolition. Right: Demolition begins!

In preparation for much of the building’s demise, crews from Fortis Construction, which is leading construction and general contracting at Rock Creek, installed safety fencing in late June after Facilities Management Services and Public Safety staff packed and moved to the newly-renovated Building 1. One of the first things to occur at the empty, fenced-off building was to remove obstructions from around the perimeter of the building. After signage, landscaping and other items were cleared, workers began “safe-off,” – disconnecting or re-routing electricity, gas, water sewer and other utilities to and around certain parts of the building.

Marcus Klein, project manager from Fortis Construction said the final piece of the safe-off puzzle was the sprinkler system. Once the land use permit was approved, Fortis removed the building from the campus fire alarm system.  They then got to work deconstructing about 25,000 square feet of the old Building 5, starting at roof and continuing down to the slab. Klein said deconstruction will take about a month.

higher res RC B5 - New Floor Plan edited

Rough drawing of planned demolition and reconstruction on Rock Creek’s Building 5.

The new addition will be built in an L-shape around the remaining structure, and will house the campus bookstore, expanded food services, student resource areas and space for student government (the Associated Students of Portland Community College). Labs for health and wellness programs and a multipurpose physical education/dance classroom are also planned. Much needed offices for faculty will also be included. In addition, the concrete gym floor will be replaced with wood, and a loading dock will be added to the building.

Construction is expected to be complete in winter 2015.

PCC’S 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit

About Karen Kane

Karen Kane is the Community Relations Manager for the Sylvania Campus. A passionate storyteller and communicator, Karen has told the stories for several organizations in Portland, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the ... more »


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