Portland Community College (PCC) is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, helping 78,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties get the training and preparation needed to jumpstart their career, or to further their education at a four-year university. PCC contributes to the economic growth and vibrancy of our region by helping build a skilled and educated workforce for in-demand jobs.
PCC is focused on meeting the needs of its current and future students, as well as the needs of the Portland metro’s workforce. The college has conducted a campus-wide examination of its physical infrastructure and academic program needs in the coming years. This assessment concluded that PCC must focus on three essential goals to better prepare students and contribute to the community:
- Improve workforce training programs to better align with current and future jobs: Expanded facilities and updated technology will help students develop the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow, and secure higher paying jobs to meet the growing cost of living in the metro area.
- Invest in better training for Health and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs: Students studying these essential disciplines need access to the latest technology and adequate facilities to enter the workforce ready to go.
- Invest in meeting needs for safety, security, longevity and disability access: PCC must ensure students feel safe and welcome while they learn.
The PCC Board of Directors will ask voters in its service area to consider renewing a bond on the November 7, 2017 ballot. In 2000, voters approved a $144 million bond for new construction and building upgrades to help PCC meet the needs of its growing enrollment. If voters choose to renew this bond in November, it would maintain the current rate of $0.135 per $1,000, and would not increase taxes on voters.
Funds from the bond would go directly to projects that will help achieve the goals listed above. As was done for the 2008 bond approved by voters, PCC would again emphasize openness and transparency so that the public can track how funds from the bonds are spent.
PCC is proposing the following goal-focused projects with the proceeds of the bond funds:
Goal 1: Improve workforce training programs to better align with current and future jobs.
- Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center – $25 million
- This project will involve demolishing two outdated buildings and combining programs into one multi-story facility building on the three-acre site already owned by PCC.
- Completing this project will reduce ongoing maintenance costs by $2 million.
- The new building will better suit the wide variety of training opportunities offered by workforce development, and support continued partnerships with the Department of Human Services and other regional and community entities – moving people out of poverty and into careers.
- Capital Equipment – $2 million
- With limited funding resources, new equipment will help the college keep up with the latest technology by giving students the tools needed for relevant, quality academic courses and training.
Goal 2: Invest in better training for Health and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs.
- Sylvania Campus Health Technology Building Renovation – $22.9 million from bond + $8 million matching from the State of Oregon (Total: $30.9 million)
- This project will be a major renovation of the existing health technology building, which houses STEAM and health profession classrooms. This includes updated science and biology labs, nursing education suites, and faculty workspace for radiographic technology, anatomy and physiology, and other health-related career fields.
- Adjustments will be made in the size and proximity of learning spaces to better meet program needs for nursing, radiography, science, and fitness programs.
- Critical seismic, safety and accessibility needs will also be addressed through this project.
- Health Inter-Professional Training – $3 million
- This project will develop or redesign spaces used for inter-professional training, offering students working with PCC’s allied health programs and major healthcare partners a better place to learn.
- The facility will include new simulation labs, allowing the college to offer certificates for Simulation Operations Specialist. This would be the first and only location in Oregon offering certificates in this growing field.
Goal 3: Invest in meeting needs for safety, security, longevity and disability access.
- Extend Lifespan of PCC Facilities – $36 million
- This project will make critical campus upgrades to improve sustainability, energy efficiency, accessibility, and safety of PCC facilities.
- This will include cost-saving measures to help the college reduce spending on inefficient HVAC systems and redundant repairs, and redirect those funds to the classroom.
- Information Technology Upgrades – $20 million
- New information technology will assist with a wide range of campus needs, from day-to-day classroom technology updates, to programs that will enhance long-term safety and disaster preparedness for students and faculty alike.
- Safety and Security Upgrades – $16 million
- Safety and security upgrades will help PCC campuses maintain the highest level of safety and security possible.
- System upgrades include mass notification (i.e. text message) programs for urgent alerts, along with technology components like access controls and cameras to maintain security around the clock.
- Rock Creek Child Development Center – $7 million
- This new facility will make the Rock Creek campus more accommodating for current and prospective students with young children, who often struggle to balance parenthood and pursing their education, by providing an 8,000-sq. ft. on-campus child care facility on the Rock Creek campus.
- The college will partner with a local provider to offer child development services to students, like the Cascade and Southeast campuses.
- Facility Improvements for Safety, ADA and Transit Needs – $6 million
- This project will help make the Sylvania campus more accessible and friendly to students with physical disabilities with comprehensive site improvements.
- To help meet the growing demand for parking, as well as improve safety and accessibility, Rock Creek will convert a gravel area to an asphalt surface with upgraded pathways and energy efficient lighting.
- Cascade Public Safety Building – $3 million
- A new building will provide offices and meeting spaces for college public safety department, as well as partnership space for City of Portland police staff.
- Facilities Planning – $2 million
- Cornerstone of PCC’s efforts to align facilities and academic planning – this work will provide a comprehensive approach to facilities planning and will identify service efficiencies and opportunities for greater operational coordination. This will build from Phase I work, which is an existing conditions assessment of all PCC-owned infrastructure, and begin to explore the development capacity of PCC as well as guide and prioritize project identification for future investment.