Construction workers may be a common sight on campus for the next several years as new buildings continue to expand the UCC experience. While work continues on the Health, Nursing, and Science Center (HNS) and a new astronomy observatory, staff are looking ahead to the Snyder rebuild, as well as a possible Industrial Technology building.
According to project manager Larry Spielbusch, construction of the HNS building is about 50 percent done and scheduled to be complete on August 15 of this year. This date would allow faculty to occupy the new offices, labs, and classrooms in time for fall term.
“We’re a team, we’ve got UCC, the architects, and the contractors, and we’re all working together from one pot of money to make this thing work.” Spielbusch said.
The $17,000,000 project is funded by a matching $8, 500, 000 grant from the State of Oregon, student fees, and fundraising from the community. Uniquely, the entire building process is being managed digitally, recorded, and stored on a contractor’s cloud software.
“It’s going to be probably the most documented building on-site. All the shop drawings, all the RFI’s, all the correspondent emails, and photos. That will all be there for historical purposes.” Spielbusch said.
“It’s gonna be a fantastic addition to the campus.”
The crew just finished installing a row of skylights. They have also successfully located an old river water line that will now be connected to the fire hydrant and the sprinkler system within the building.
Elsewhere on campus, near the running track, work is ongoing on a smaller but unique project: the first digital-imaging observatory in the Northwest, according to Astronomy instructor Paul Morgan.
“What we’re going to be doing is using relatively modest size telescopes with improved cameras which will then be connected to computers. The computers then transmit that signal to a television screen.” Morgan said, “So people will be able to actually see the images of whatever we’re looking at on the television monitors.”
Instead of vying for the limited eyepieces, Morgan explained, students and teachers will be able to clearly view the telescope images as a class. The images and viewing sessions will also be available for broadcast through the web to online classes and off-campus students. Morgan said he is hoping to involve local high schools with the observatory as well.
The facility will be used for General Science 107 labs. It will also serve as a general educational resource for the community; in addition to outreach to schools, Morgan is looking to host monthly public viewing nights at the observatory.
Two other programs also looking to grow their facilities are the UCC welding and automotive departments. Both departments currently face expanding curriculum and operate out of a shared Lockwood Hall.
“We’re having a lot of conflict with scheduling classes within our second layer, our associates degree.” Ian Fisher, the welding program coordinator, said. “We need at least two areas to do welding.”
Both instructors also mentioned the need to update and enlarge the currently co-ed locker rooms with equal space for genders. One possibility that has been discussed, they said, is a new building to house the automotive classes which is also growing beyond its Toyota, Lexis, and Scion fleet.
“They’re bringing in Chrysler, so that space that they need for their fleet is going to double.” said Duane Thompson, a welding instructor.
“I love the idea of taking this building [Lockwood] and expanding it into a full welding building with some classrooms.” Miller said.
He explained that preliminary plans had been created several years back for an Industrial Technology building. However, new discussions and ideas on the building, including the possibility of having it in Sutherlin or off of Diamond Lake Blvd, had complicated the process.
“The status on that right now is that we’ve requested that we hold off on doing that project for an additional two years.” Miller said.
Part of the reason for that decision has to do with the new Snyder plans. A funding proposal for $4.2 million to rebuild the hall was filed by UCC earlier this year. The request was assigned a bill number (Bill 5701) on February 25th. Once the financing and final plans are completed, it will be the next major building project after the HNS center.