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PCC breaks ground on new Newberg Facility

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After years of negotiations and planning with community leaders, Portland Community College broke ground on its Newberg Center. A crowd of college dignitaries and local educational and government officials gathered on Oct. 13 to lift shovels of dirt to mark the start of construction.

Left to right, PCC Board Chair David Squire, District President Preston Pulliams and Board Member Harold Williams pose after digging out the first shovels of dirt at the Newberg Center.

Once built, the educational facility will be approximately 12,000 square feet, with room to expand in the future. 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. The community college consulted with the Energy Trust of Oregon to get the specs just right to achieve a Net Zero rating.

“The time has come for PCC to step forward and serve the needs of this community,” said Linda Gerber, Sylvania Campus President. “This is a perfect location and allows us to expand and increase our services. There are very few buildings that will be this sustainable in Oregon or the country.”

Dignitaries at the ceremony included industry professionals and community leaders along with Newberg Schools Superintendent Paula Radich, Gerber, PCC Board Vice Chair Jim Harper, PCC Board Chair David Squire, PCC District President Preston Pulliams, PCC Board Member Harold Williams and Newberg Mayor Bob Andrews.

Portland Community College’s 16-acre location on Fernwood Road just off of Highway 99W will be the site of the educational facility for residents of Newberg, Sherwood and Dundee. Part of the 2008 bond measure funds, the anticipated opening date of the facility is fall 2011. The architect is Henneberry Eddy Architects and the general contractor is R&H/Colas Construction. Until the new facility opens, PCC will host classes at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg.

“This made all the sense in the world to us in terms of access to education for this region,” Pulliams said. “What the most exciting part to me is in this effort was the teamwork by not just the college, but by the community. That made this project, its planning and its strategic positioning, very, very easy for us at the college.”

The center will be a model of sustainability. Planners are aiming for the facility to be a Net Zero ready building, which means it will produce as much energy as it uses. The building will meet the high-tech needs for the future with the ability to integrate additional digital hardware in classrooms and will sport wi-fi.

A local checks out the architect drawings of the future center.

The 7,000-square foot rooftop photovoltaic array will convert solar energy into electricity and have a super-insulated envelope to minimize heat loss and emphasize natural day lighting throughout. It will have natural ventilation with radiant concrete floors for heating and cooling. The concrete walls will help moderate temperature swings and maintain comfortable conditions inside.

A natural ventilation system will use a louver and double damper system that will bring in fresh air at certain times and ventilation turbines will disperse warm air from classrooms. In combination with CO2 sensors and a heat recovery ventilator, air ventilation will be regulated where air is exhausted to warm fresh air from outside.

However, the best attraction, according to locals, is the classes and training that will be available to Newberg residents.

“The dream of many is becoming a reality and today marks the beginning of the end,” said Newberg Mayor Bob Andrews. “The beginning of the actual construction of the campus of PCC and the end of the planning and speculation of the new campus here in Newberg. PCC ‘s presence will provide the potential for the timely response to workforce needs through education for the community and the opportunity that Newberg and Dundee have not previously had.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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