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PCC finalizes Newberg land deal for future center

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Looking south from Fernwood Road in Newberg of the land that PCC's future center will sit on.

Looking south from Fernwood Road in Newberg of the land that PCC’s future center will sit on.

Portland Community College has finalized a property purchase of 16 acres in Newberg, which will be the site of a new educational facility for residents of Newberg, Sherwood and Dundee. The transaction is valued at $3.75 million and was finalized and recorded by the city of Newberg on Dec. 30.

The anticipated opening date of the facility is fall 2011.

“This land purchase marks an exciting new chapter for the college,” said PCC President Preston Pulliams. “Newberg and Dundee are part of Chehalem Valley in Yamhill County, a region whose population continues to grow. Having a permanent educational facility in Newberg will enable the college to better meet the community’s higher education needs, now and in the future.”

He noted that the new educational center is one of the college’s first projects stemming from passage of the $374 million bond measure in November 2008.

The college bought the 16 acres from the Werth Family LLC. It is near Providence Newberg Medical Center, south of Highway 99W and borders Fernwood Road and Brutscher Street. Once built, the educational facility will be approximately 12,000 square feet, with room to expand in the future.

Newberg boasts a population of nearly 25,000, and the Sylvania Campus of PCC has seen a continued upward trend of Newberg High School graduates enrolling in courses. Yet the trek to the Sylvania Campus – approximately 20 miles along traffic-congested Highway 99W – can be long.

“Newberg and Dundee – along with Sherwood, just up the road – fall within PCC’s district and specifically, Sylvania’s service area,” said Linda Gerber, president of Sylvania. “In light of the growth trends we’re seeing and the increase in traffic between our campus and the region, PCC’s center in Newberg will allow the college to meet community educational needs in a way that reduces the travel-related carbon footprint.”

The facility will be designed by Portland-based Hennebery Eddy Architects (www.henneberyeddy.com). Sustainability will be integral to the design of PCC’s new center, which will include four to five classrooms, a conference room, administrative space and a reception area. In Newberg, Hennebery Eddy built the A-Dec Education Center and it has designed other educational buildings outside the area including at Willamette University, Lewis & Clark College and Reed College.

With the land purchase now complete, PCC has begun meeting with the architects, contractors and its internal team to assess design needs and tocreate a construction timeline. Members of the PCC Newberg Advisory Committee – a group of community leaders representing a variety of local organizations and city government – also will be consulted throughout the project. Gerber formed the committee in early 2009 as a means to gather input as the college planned the center so that the outcome would be consistent with the vision the community has for itself.

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“PCC’s presence here will provide the potential for a timely response to workforce needs through higher education – an opportunity that Newberg and Dundee haven’t had before,” said Newberg Mayor Bob Andrews, a member of the advisory committee.

After PCC’s November 2008 bond measure passed, thanks to voters in Yamhill County, the college promised that it would begin offering classes in the area in fall 2010. To honor that promise, PCC will operate out of an interim site – the Chehalem Valley Cultural Center – for the 2010-11 academic year, until it moves into the permanent facility.

“Working with PCC has enabled us to intentionally develop a focused K-14 experience,” added Paula Radich, superintendent of the Newberg School District and also a member of the advisory committee. “The opportunity is now here for students to have access to, and complete, their first two years of college locally.”

PCC is refining the slate of courses to be available next fall but anticipates offering much in the way of lower-division transfer courses. The college also will serve more students in career technical fields because of its partnership with the Newberg School District to retrofit the high school’s welding lab and expand educational opportunities in Machine Manufacturing.

“This marks the start of great things to come in Chehalem Valley, and we are so grateful for the support and guidance of our allies and partners in Newberg, Dundee and Sherwood who have helped us throughout the process,” said Gerber.

PCC hires architects for campuses

Portland Community College Board of Directors hired Opsis Architecture to provide comprehensive architectural services for the Rock Creek Campus, SRG Partnership for the Southeast Center, GBD Architects for the Sylvania Campus and THA Architecture for the Cascade Campus. Work typically consists of site location evaluations, assessment of land use requirements, programming and schematic designs, construction document preparation and other services.

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