BCT students take advantage of HT Building renovation for learning opportunity
Story by Lisa Reeve. Photos by Wendy Wright. | Start the discussion
When Portland Community College alum Matt Shroyer heard that his construction firm had been awarded a large project at his alma mater, a light bulb went on. In his role as associate project manager at Lease Crutcher Lewis, he had been thinking of organizing a tour for students in the Building Construction Technology Program for years; the Health Technology (HT) Building at Sylvania Campus seemed like the perfect fit.
“Any project would be interesting for the students, but this presented a unique opportunity to see a big commercial construction project first hand, working on a PCC campus,” Shroyer said.
He reached out to colleagues at Lease Crutcher Lewis and to his former PCC instructor, Shannon Baird, and made the tour happen this past winter term.
The HT Building renovation is the largest project resulting from the 2017 bond. Built in the late 1960s, this remodel is giving new life to an old building thanks to the design by Hacker Architects. The new facility will use modern technology to make it a safer and more functional place for PCC students and staff.
According to Gary Sutton, the senior project manager for the Office of Planning & Capital Construction, the building was long overdue for a remodel.
“By moving some of the existing programs out of the building into better spaces on campus we’re able to free up space within the building, creating new and vibrant student collaboration spaces while also providing the remaining programs more space to grow,” Sutton said.
The project, which aims for completion in June 2023, focuses on the east side of the building with plans to upgrade the remaining areas – west side – in the future. When finished, HT will house teaching spaces for Architecture, Interior Design, Nursing, Medical Imaging/Radiography, Physical Education, Exercise Science, Dance as well as administrative offices and student areas. The current phase of the project consists of excavation work as well as structural and seismic building installations, such as adding micropiles and Fiber Reinforced Polymer.
Setting up the tour was a great experience for Shroyer.
“I have been really excited to reconnect with the BCT class and Shannon Baird while setting up this tour and to find a way to be able to give back to PCC,” he said. “PCC has been a life changing event for me, and I’ll always be grateful for the education I have received there and the career opportunities that came as a result of that education.”
Shroyer earned his associate degree in construction management in 2012 and then continued with prerequisite courses for a civil engineering degree, which he completed at University of Washington in Seattle. He worked as a carpenter while attending night classes at PCC, and found the coursework complemented the hands-on experience he was getting at the time.
“It was an eye opening experience to learn more of what goes on in the management side of the construction process, while working on the field side,” said Shroyer.
One of the students on the tour, Stephanie Boultinghouse, found the HT tour a helpful supplement to her studies.
“I really enjoyed getting to see the process of the seismic upgrade on an existing building,” Boultinghouse said. “It was also interesting to see what different (or same) technologies that LCL [Lease Crutcher Lewis] is using on their project compared to what I’ve been exposed to on my projects.”
Of her BCT Construction Management Program (which she will finish this spring), she noted, “my classes at PCC have really helped me understand the construction process and all that goes into a successful, and unsuccessful construction project. I believe my studies have helped set me up for success to move to the next level in my career.”