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The Walls of Cascade Hall Will Fall Dec. 11

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One of the mainstays of Portland Community College will be retired Friday, December 11 after more than 50 years in the education field.

The send-off won’t feature a wild party, a hefty retirement package or even a gold watch. Instead, Cascade Hall at PCC’s Cascade Campus will say good-bye in grand fashion, when its very walls are knocked to the ground by demolition crews at 9 a.m.

Born in 1946 as part of then-Cascade College, Cascade Hall today holds the potentially dangerous features of asbestos, dry rot, faulty wiring, a lack of access for the handicapped, being unsound in the event of an earthquake and other health and safety concerns.

Despite serving its community as a community center, music building and student meeting place, Cascade Hall’s fate came late last year, when PCC officials ruled that to keep it open posed a health and safety risk to students, staff and faculty.

PCC Board members found that the cost of making the necessary improvements was actually more than the cost of building a new facility, some $4 million at the time of the decision.

The decision to level Cascade Hall came with the hope that a newer, safer and more modern building would take its place. The slim defeat of the PCC bond 26-71 in November put those plans on hold for awhile. For now, back-filled and leveled land will wait for a decision on when to build again.

The demolition effort should be completed by Jan. 8, when crews expect to finish filling and leveling the basement of the building — several days after students return for winter term classes.

For more information on the demolition effort, contact Betty Kay at 977-4338.

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