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New look to PCC campuses this fall
Photos and Story by James Hill
by Susan HerefordThe doors open a lot wider to students this fall at Portland Community College, thanks to district approval of a 2000 bond measure for new space, technology and building repairs at PCC campuses. Five new buildings come on line at the start of fall term, Sept. 27. Opening up just one new facility is no easy feat but with five, the challenges are enormous. Getting ready to open for fall has meant massive planning and coordination, using technical expertise and plain old elbow grease. Hundreds have been in on the effort, each campus a little city of bustling activity. College staff and construction contractors are busy with moving offices, laying carpet, getting computers set up to help students, outfitting smart classrooms, hooking up the phones and all of the other activities required to welcome students in September."Literally thousands of computers will be installed this summer, for example," said Randy McEwen, vice president of administrative services. "This is the culmination of six years of incredibly effective and detailed work by all areas of the college. Once again, PCC’s spirit of service to students is shining though in the great facilities and teamwork." At Cascade Campus alone, in urban north Portland, PCC will bring three new buildings on line this fall a building devoted to technology studies, a building housing programs such as fire science, emergency services and criminal justice, and a new physical education facility. Rock Creek Campus in Washington County will open up a "gateway" building that will serve as the entry point to the campus with student services housed on the first story and a library with stunning views of rolling hills on the second level.Sylvania Campus in southwest Portland is opening a brilliantly designed "green" building with an indoor courtyard that will be passively heated and cooled by nature’s elements. The building will house technology programs and distance learning activities.James Mayer, one of the principal architects from the design firm Opsis Architecture, says his firm’s Sylvania Campus design brings new technologies to its building. "It will enhance the learning experience through the use of environmental considerations, such as natural ventilation and abundant daylight, and high technology." The firm designed the classrooms around a central atrium-styled courtyard, which features a natural, ventilated "winter garden."The campus expansions will add 258,000 square feet space for new science laboratories, a library, a fire training tower, computer and distance learning labs, classrooms and more. With last school year’s opening of the Southeast Center in January and Cascade Campus’ Jackson Hall science addition last fall, coupled with September openings, the college has so far invested $100 million in bond funds in these new spaces and added 370,000 square feet of space. "It is all about bringing access and opportunity to students," said Preston Pulliams, district president. "Support in the community for PCC is strong and these new facilities are evidence of the commitment," he added. "We invite people to come to the campuses and see what we are doing."According to McEwen, "We may be setting a record for the number of buildings opening at once for an Oregon college," he said. "There is an incredible air of excitement and anticipation at PCC. The new buildings are nice and certainly needed, but more important is the opportunities they represent."New buildings at PCCSylvania Campus*Technology Classroom Building Cascade Campus*Public Services Building *Technology Building *Physical Education Building Jackson Hall addition Rock Creek Campus*Library/Student Services Building *Science and Technology BuildingSoutheast Center Mt. Scott Hall, Mt. Tabor Hall *Opening Sept. 2004. Grand Opening CelebrationsPCC will hold several grand openings to dedicate the new facilities, which will feature tours, refreshments and entertainment. The public is invited.Rock Creek Campus Friday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-noon; ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Call 503-614-7305 for more information.Cascade Campus Wednesday, Oct. 20, 3-5:30 p.m.; ceremony at 3:30 p.m.Call 503-978-5302 for additional information.Sylvania Campus Wednesday, Nov. 10, noon- 2 p.m.; ceremony at 10:30 a.m.Contact 503-977- 4591.