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MEDIA ADVISORY: ?Wall Razing' Ceremony to Kick-Off Southeast Center Expansion
Photos and Story by James Hill
SOUTHEAST PORTLAND – The future is now for Portland Community College’s new Southeast Center.The college is hosting a "wall razing"ceremony from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the site of the new center, located at the corner of Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street. There will be a brief ceremony and photo opportunity at 3:15 p.m. when part of a vacant building comes down to make way for new construction and remodeling. A trackhoe with a bucket/thumb attachment will be used to demolish a portion of the building.The center, targeted to open in fall of 2003, will allow the college to bring more lower-division college courses to outer Southeast, as well as English as a second language classes, alternative high school offerings, pre-college and professional-technical classes. Students will be able to complete their first year of college transfer courses on site. Approximately 1,400 more students will be able to take classes at the new center.PCC Board Chair Doreen Margolin, PCC President Jesus "Jess"Carreon, Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Nels Hall, principal of Yost Grube Hall architects, will provide remarks. Cascade Campus Executive Dean Mildred Ollee will emcee the ceremony. The center will be approximately 94,000 square feet. The plans call for remodeling an existing 60,300-square-foot building – the former Builder’s Square outlet – plus constructing a 10,300-square-foot addition and a new two-story, 23,300-square-foot building. There will be enough parking for 468 vehicles and the new center will contain three entry-exit points off of 82nd Avenue and Division.The architectural firm Yost Grube Hall designed the center and Baugh Skanska is the construction manager and general contractor for the project. Work began last month at the center with clearing the existing structures of lead and evaluating existing drywells for contamination. The college purchased the 10.3-acre property for $5.7 million, which consists of a Builder’s Square outlet and an Albertson’s grocery store. Proceeds from the $144 million bond in 2000, and sale of the current site and other college property will pay for the new center. The construction of the new center is expected to cost about $18 million. PCC has wanted to provide greater access to higher education for residents in outer southeast Portland for some time, but the current 7.5-acre site (2850 S.E. 82nd Ave.) presented numerous challenges for expansion. Problems for renovating the current Southeast Center include limited parking, one entry-exit point, expensive remodeling costs and the lack of availability of adjacent property.