South Coast college builds new facility, 20 years in planning

After nearly 20 years of planning, a college on the South Coast is finally breaking ground on a new facility.

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 3:58 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 3:33 PM

COOS BAY, Ore. - After nearly 20 years of planning, Southwestern Oregon Community College will break ground for the first time on a new building on campus in three decades. The new Health and Science Technology building has been in the college plans since 2000.

According to the college president, Patty Scott, the school struggled to find funding for the project. In 2013, the college secured a grant for $8-million, but President Scott said it needed to match that grant. The college did so with the help of state bonds, federal grants, private donors, but most of all the community.

”I can’t go anywhere and not have someone ask me about it, particularly in the medical community," President Patty Scott said. "The medical community has really stepped up. The Bay Area Hospital and the doctors have personally all contributed to this project," Scott said.

Scott told KEZI 9 News the advancement in facility and technology comes at a very important time for the South Coast. She said more than 30% of the medical workforce in the area is comprised of people over 55-years-old. Scott said something needed to be done to meet the employment demand that would soon arise.

Scott said about 90% of students will end up using this building once it's up and running.

Preliminary work is underway, however the college has yet to officially hire a contractor. Scott said they still have about half a million dollars to raise still. She said they raised everything necessary to match the grant, but that the estimated cost of the project is higher than initially projected.

The building is slated to be finished in the Fall of 2019. Classes are slated to be held in the Health and Science Technology building in 2020.

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