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PCC Newberg Center poised to receive accolades at this year’s Community Awards Banquet
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
Portland Community College’s Newberg Center – its newest and “greenest” facility to date – is slated to receive a multitude of honors at the annual Community Awards Banquet hosted by the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The event will take place April 28 at The Chehalem Armory (620 N. Morton Street) in Newberg. Awards the center will pick up that night include:
- Community Enhancement Award – To PCC Newberg Center, in the “Institutional” category. This award, given by the City of Newberg, honors developments that increase the quality of life within Newberg. Karen Jones, PCC Newberg Center director, will accept the award.
- Edward Stevens Distinguished Service Award (2011) – To Barb VanAmerongen, the center’s former director, for her contributions to the community through the scope of her professional position. This award is given by the Chamber of Commerce.
- Partner in Education Award – To PCC Newberg Center from the Newberg School District, to be given to Preston Pulliams, PCC district president; Linda Gerber, president of the PCC Sylvania Campus; and VanAmerongen. This award “recognizes businesses and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding support for public education.”
“It is such an honor, and so very meaningful, for the PCC Newberg Center to receive these community-oriented awards,” said Gerber.
“The college started its work in the Chehalem Valley more than seven years ago, seeking to coordinate curriculum with the Newberg School District. When PCC’s bond measure passed in 2008, we invited the community to collaborate with us, to construct a facility that would meet both educational and community needs.
“To see how far we’ve come – after years of planning, discussion and community outreach efforts – is incredibly fulfilling,” said Gerber.
Located at 135 Werth Blvd., south of Highway 99W, PCC Newberg opened its doors to students in September 2011. Its launch means that students from Newberg, Dundee and nearby Sherwood now have the opportunity to complete their first two years of college locally before transferring to a four-year university.
More than being “just” new and modern, the building is unique because of its sustainability attributes: PCC Newberg is anticipated to be “Net Zero, Carbon-Neutral,” which translates to generating the same amount of energy it expends.
The building’s energy efficiency results from implementation of new technology to operate relatively simple building systems like passive ventilation, radiant heating, natural daylight and solar energy. This approach has enabled PCC to eliminate conventional mechanical systems such as air handlers and air conditioning units, which saves energy and money and helps to reduce carbon emissions.
Such efficiency has led to the center being awarded platinum level LEED-NC certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design with a special focus on new construction. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a certification process to enhance environmental awareness among architects and building contractors, and to encourage the design and construction of energy-efficient, water-conserving buildings that use sustainable or green resources and materials.