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PCC Board OK's Bond for November General Election
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
In an effort to increase access to the education required of citizens in an increasingly complex and technology-based society, the PCC Board of Directors recently announced it has approved a $135.5 million bond measure for the November 1998 general election ballot.
The measure is designed to expand and improve facilities especially in the areas of work force training, computer technology and science. It will meet projected educational needs of the community throughout the first decade of the new century.
According to Board Chair Mike Hereford, many of the PCC science and technology labs are more than 20 years old and are inadequate for the training needed for today’s workplace. Hereford added that the bond would also allow the college to construct newer, more technologically advanced buildings to house programs in technology, electronics, science and others.
PCC President Daniel Moriarty remarked that PCC is heading into the next millennium with an eye toward the demand for students able to adapt and perform in an evolving high-tech world. "This bond allows us to be in front of, or at least in stride with, the changing needs of our students and communities," said Moriarty. "We, as a community college, have a responsibility to our students, employers and the community to plan ahead in order to provide up-to-date and comprehensive educational and training programs for the future.
"This bond also allows us to meet a growing demand for education and training in the high technology and science fields, enhance existing work force training throughout our district and upgrade existing facilities so they are not only up to government standards, but the standard of quality embraced by PCC," added Moriarty.
Moriarty’s comments on the increase of high technology jobs mirror the projections of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which in a recently published study noted that it expects occupations in computer technology to double over the next decade.
Increased student enrollment in PCC science and technology classes over the last five years was another key reason for the decision to go out for a bond, according to Moriarty. Over the last five years, science and technology classes such as chemistry, physics, computer information and microelectronics, have seen a total growth spurt of 30 percent.
On the issue of upgrading existing facilities, nearly $21 million of the bond money will be devoted to PCC-wide projects required to meet OSHA, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and other health and safety codes.
The bond would cost taxpayers within PCC’s 1,500-square-mile district an estimated $0.135 per thousand dollars of assessed value for their home, or $13.50 per year for a $100,000 home.
All of PCC’s three main campuses (Cascade in North Portland, Rock Creek in the Beaverton/Aloha/Hillsboro area and Sylvania in Southwest Portland), the Southeast Center on SE 82nd Ave., and the workforce training centers in central Portland and Washington County will see the benefits of the all-encompassing measure. This bond is expected to meet the district’s facilities needs through the year 2010.
Key components of the bond include:
At Cascade Campus/Open Campus
A new science facility, a new advanced technology and skill center building, renovated classroom and lab space, a retooled physical education facility, and required maintenance and repair to extend the life of existing facilities.
At Sylvania Campus
A new high tech lab to develop and deliver computer and Internet courses for students in off-campus locations; building new and retooling existing classrooms and labs affiliated with the science, computer, engineering and medical programs.
At Rock Creek/Open Campus
A new library, new classrooms, the expansion of science labs, renovation of facilities for programs in diesel mechanics, auto collision repair, welding, learning via the Internet, and the relocation of the microelectronics program from PCC’s Workforce Training Center in Beaverton to the Rock Creek Campus.
At Southeast Center
An expansion of the training facility to provide area residents with access to workforce education and training.
PCC Training Centers and all campuses
Maintenance projects, including roof repair, to extend the useful life of buildings and to meet OSHA, ADA and other codes; the upgrading of student services facilities; and improvements and repairs to the grounds and aging shops on the campuses to ensure longevity.
"This is an opportunity for us as a college and our education-minded community to come together and achieve a common goal," said Moriarty, "the goal of having a smarter, more efficient and supremely prepared work force in the year 2000 and beyond."
To obtain more information on the projects planned, the financial implications of the bond or Portland Community College itself, contact the PCC Public Affairs Office at (503) 977-4374 or 977-4421.