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An indelible reminder of Rock Creek’s progress

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Faculty, staff and students leave their marks for posterity at the brace signing ceremony at Building 5 on Rock Creek Campus.

Faculty, staff and students leave their marks for posterity at the brace signing ceremony at Building 5 on Rock Creek Campus.

February 25, 2015
By Katherine Miller

Ordinarily, graffiti is frowned upon. But on a special day recently at Rock Creek Campus, making your mark was the order of the day.

To celebrate the progress of construction on Building 5, faculty, staff and students were invited to sign a steel brace under the decking of the new addition. Dozens happily joined in, donning hard hats, reflective vests, and protective eye wear, and then signing their names and writing messages with permanent markers.

“Today is a great celebration to have students join us and being able to recognize that this is going to be their building and that they get to be a part of this moment where we’re looking at the completion of their student center,” said Sandra Fowler-Hill, Rock Creek Campus president.

The improvements are part of the more than $63 million in voter-approved bond funds that Portland Community College is using to build, renovate and upgrade the Rock Creek Campus. Building 5’s new addition is being built in an L-shape around the gymnasium and will house the campus bookstore, expanded food services, student resource areas and space for student government. Also planned are labs for health and wellness programs, a multipurpose physical education/dance classroom, and offices for faculty. In addition, the concrete gym floor will be replaced with wood, and a loading dock will be added to the building.

The beam designated for signing is a buckling-restrained brace, which is specifically designed to stabilize a structure during a seismic event. Building 5’s construction phase is on track for completion in December 2015, and the building will be ready for occupancy in spring 2016. With all the steel framing now in place, Fowler-Hill said the campus community can see that “we’re on the down slope.”

“The bond dollars have definitely transformed Rock Creek Campus. Building 7 is evidence of that, of really changing the whole center of our campus to a place that has light and openness on this inside, and making it so much more attractive from the outside,” she said.

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


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