Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Rock Creek completes Building 9 projects that improve student services

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img_0117_cropThe finish line is in sight at the Rock Creek Campus, as another phase of capital improvements has come to a successful conclusion.

Work at Building 9, which houses many key student services, was completed in late summer, allowing staff to move into their newly remodeled spaces in time for fall term.

The work began with relocating the bookstore to Building 5 after completion of a 62,000-foot-addition in January. This created space in Building 9 and allowed the college to improve its flow, efficiency and utility.

“Academic Advising was moved to a more private area, which allowed us to make orientation and outreach front and center, relocating it to a more dynamic, interactive space and in close proximity to Student Accounts and Enrollment,” said Project Manager Zahava Jones. “As students come to the building to register and enroll they see all this activity in progress.”

Another major change was to give the testing center and counseling and disability services two separate suites and waiting areas. Jones said that prior to the remodel, these services shared a common waiting area, which was confusing – and at times distressing – for some students.img_0162_crop

Shannon Haller, testing lead at Rock Creek, said the testing center gained several improvements, including three additional “severe distraction” rooms, a “moderate distraction” for pen-and-paper tests, and lockers where students can store their belongings while they take exams.

“We absolutely love it,” Haller said. “Before, when testing, counseling and disability services were all tucked into one section, students were sometimes unclear which office they needed to be in. Now that Testing has its own area, students know what they’re coming for. It’s one entity and self-explanatory.”

A new suite was also created for jobs and internships, and the Career Exploration Center, with areas for reception, waiting, reference materials, computer stations, meeting tables and staff. Co-locating these services was a logical change, said Jones, and allows them to work with each other and capitalize on resources.

Building 9 also acquired new furniture in some offices and way-finding signage.

PCC is investing more than $63 million at its Rock Creek Campus, part of the funds from the bond measure approved by voters in 2008. Although the largest projects, including the additions to buildings 7 and 5, are complete, smaller projects are still under way, including improvements to the farm facilities, a new child development center, and exterior way-finding signage.

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