Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Campus and Community stakeholders zero in on options for Cascade Campus
Photos and Story by Gina Whitehill-Baziuk
After months of information gathering, a campus-community tour, modeling exercises, open houses, and group discussions, campus and community stakeholders have landed on the “same page” in narrowing plan options for bond-funded improvements at Cascade Campus. These options will be further evaluated over the summer months by THA Architecture and the Cascade campus bond design team.
This June, the Strategic Work Group (SWG) representing PCC students, faculty and staff, and the Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) representing the neighborhood, business, non-profit and the faith-based communities surrounding the campus identified A2 and A3 (illustrated here) as their most promising options. Following meetings with the SWG, BAC and student leaders, the Executive Committee, a committee of PCC district and campus leaders, confirmed the two options for further refinement this summer.
BAC and the SWG representatives gave a nod to the process that allowed so many issues and ideas for both the campus and the surrounding community to be discussed. One new idea that grew in its approval ranking with the help of 3D illustrations and discussions about access and place-making was the concept of separating the Student Center and the Library. “Based on my own movement between buildings on campus, moving the Student Center to another location in Option A3 will increase campus foot traffic and disperse students across the campus –which is a good thing,” suggested Justin Elardo, campus faculty and BAC member.
Other stakeholders highlighted the options that showed an enhanced campus mall and new gathering areas or plazas. “I have always felt that our students deserved a beautiful mall and open area. I like the visual format,” said Sonja Grove, part-time faculty at Cascade Campus.
Isa Dean, a Humboldt neighbor and North Portland Library representative, asked about plans to address drainage problems and create a more welcoming environment in the open areas. In response, Carol Mayer Reed, the landscape architect working with PCC Cascade, confirmed that the design team is already looking at ways “to make campus entrances more interesting and welcoming and to create conversation pieces and niches to enhance and enliven the sense of place. We don’t want to waste space and just call it ‘lawn’.”
Some asked questions about street activation on Killingsworth and how proposed building locations would affect pedestrian traffic. Joe McFerrin, Director of Rosemary Anderson High School and BAC member, suggested that locating the Student Center behind the Paragon building block would increase pedestrian traffic on Albina and could inadvertently create an informal smoking area for students and faculty on the building’s east side. If the Student Center were built in this location, PCC would be required to activate the ground floor, which would then discourage or prohibit smoking near entrances.
Beginning this July, the bond program staff and THA will thoroughly assess the viability, cost, opportunities and constraints of each option, and if appropriate, also identify possible hybrid variations for discussion in the fall. PCC plans to meet with the Executive Committee , the SWG and the BAC in October 2011 to present those findings. In addition to those two groups, the College will share information and solicit public comment at a variety of campus and community venues and formats, such as the PCC In-Service in September and National Nights Out event in August hosted by Cascade Campus.