CCC: A complicated puzzle

Students, staff and faculty of Clackamas Community College were invited to gather in the newly renovated Environmental Learning Center pavilion to discuss the future of building layout as well as how to maximize the college’s resources.
CCC has a net deficit of 32,605 assignable square feet. This means that the college has a great deal of space to work with and if CCC hopes to maximize their potential they must find a way to fill this space, which is why a new Student Center is in the works. This new Student Center is being designed with the purpose of having all of the necessary components for student aid all in one place, in order to eliminate the excessive running around that students fall victim to.
Tara Sprehe, Dean of Academic Foundations and Connections, informed attendees on two options that are being heavily considered for the future of CCC. Option A was provided by a third party consultant, in order to give the college an outside perspective; option A proposes that a good deal of the Community Center should be removed, save the cafeteria and First Year Experience. As a result, several of the gutted components will be installed in Roger Rook and the other half will be installed in the new Student Center set to begin construction in 2019. “We learned a lot about how we utilize space. And where we’re not utilizing it very well.” said Sprehe. “The goal for us is how to align all student services in one place so that students don’t have to go from two different buildings to get basic needs met. So we want to create a building that has all of that in it.”
Bill Waters, Dean of Curriculum, Planning and Research, gave further insight on the complicated process of building allocation and what problems it could create as well as the problems it could solve. Currently, the Industrial Technical Center that is currently being constructed will eat up most if not all of the deficit for teaching lab space. Couple this with the DeJardin expansion set to take place two years from now, which is set to provide modernized lab areas which in turn will give the college the opportunity to repurpose Pauling, and the workload for CCC is lessened vastly. Though even with this break there is still space to be dealt with and, according to Waters, the most prominent difficulty lies in locating office space for faculty and staff.
“It is a very complicated, and very difficult puzzle,” said Waters. “We don’t have offices, and we know that we need more offices. We don’t have office space to move people into and so if we repurpose classrooms or other kinds of space that come open with this construction that’s much more expensive. So really it’s a series of dominoes.”
Along with the construction of a new student resource building, a new transit center is in the works that will double the current parking capacity and provide buses with a more efficient way to maneuver throughout the transit center.
“First, we’re going to start on the transit center a couple of weeks after school’s done. Then we’ll be starting on this project this summer, and it’ll finish and open for fall 2019 so it’ll take about a year,” said Sue Goff, Dean of Arts and Curriculum at CCC.
The transit will connect to Highway 213 as well as Oregon City High School, which will allow for smoother transportation to and from the college. The idea behind this is that with the arrival of easier transportation, CCC will see an increase of students due to an easier mode of transportation.
The future for CCC looks very bright, and at the rate that the college is progressing students can look forward to a drastically different college within the next few years. Space is likely to get tight for a while, but it comes with the purpose of creating a new and revitalized college that gives students the optimal place to pursue an education.

CCC’s new ITC building currently under construction. Photo by Jared Preble.

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Jared Preble