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Next phase of Cascade improvements promises improved Student Services, library

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Phase II of bond-funded improvements at Cascade Campus will include extensive remodeling to the Library.

Phase II of bond-funded improvements at Cascade Campus will include extensive remodeling to the Library. Demolition of the adjacent old Student Center begins in August 2015.

January 21, 2015
By Katherine Miller

Phase I improvements at PCC Cascade have given the campus a bold new look, with two completely new buildings and an expansive plaza that connects them.

But the work funded by the 2008 bond measure isn’t done yet. As part of the $58 million in improvements on the campus, Phase II is already underway, although the changes will look less dramatic than the first phase.

Renovations will occur in several existing buildings, and the old Student Center adjacent to the Library torn down. Demolition of the old Student Center, which begins in August, will allow PCC to create a large landscaped plaza, opening the entire campus from North Mississippi to North Commercial avenues.

THA Architecture’s Nick Hodges says his firm is currently working on designs for the new plaza, along with renovations to the Library and Student Services Building. All three floors of the Student Services Building will be remodeled for better flow and efficiency. An Answer Center will be located on the first floor and a testing center on the second floor.

The Library will shut down for a year to allow for remodeling to create a new classroom and more efficient study space. In the meantime, a satellite library office will be located in Terrell Hall until work on the original Library is complete.

According to Debra Jarcho, the bond’s technology manager, extensive technological improvements will be made across campus, including upgrades to the generators, new data cabling throughout the library, and a new computer classroom for the library.

Finally, as part of its commitment to reduce college-related parking in the surrounding neighborhood, the College has developed a transportation demand management (TDM) plan with a goal of increasing commuting to campus by bicycle and mass transit. A small transportation hub to house TDM offices, the bike rental program and repair shop, offices for parking enforcement and facilities for PCC shuttle drivers is under consideration and may be constructed in conjunction with the bond work.

Phase II improvements should be well received by students and staff when they are complete in 2016, if reaction to Phase I improvements is an indication.

“We are extremely happy with the results,” says Hodges. “And most importantly, we’ve been hearing very positive responses from building users, which is most rewarding.”

PCC’s 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/about/bond/about

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