Tacoma Community College celebrates Harned Center for Health Careers grand opening

Tacoma Community College celebrated the grand opening of a new health care training facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

According to Tacoma Community College officials, the demand for trained health care workers has been increasing at a steady rate in Tacoma and the surrounding communities. There is a shortage of trained health care workers, significant need is projected for the next decade, and current facilities have outlived their design life and have become cramped, inadequate, and out of date, according to college officials. Every year, Tacoma Community College turns away students due to lack of space and insufficient training facilities and equipment.

Four years ago, Tacoma Community College received the largest single gift in its history from Tacoma resident H.C. “Joe” Harned, who has funded scholarships at Tacoma Community College for many years. The college’s board of trustees voted to name the new facility the H.C. “Joe” Harned Center for Health Careers.

The Harned Center for Health Careers is home to all health care training, and the building design aims to simulate the environment of a health care facility, allowing students to learn in a setting based on the hospitals or clinics they will work in once they graduate. The new center offers state-of-the-art equipment, significantly increased teaching and learning space, and allows more students to obtain the training they need to further their careers.

The three-story, 69,700-square-foot building offers 11 general classrooms, three computer labs, and instructional spaces for respiratory therapy, nursing, and health information management. A lower level will house instructional space for diagnostic medical sonography, emergency medical care, and radiologic sciences. The building will also boast a variety of unique features, including energy efficiency measures such as a large atrium space in the middle of the building with abundant natural lighting and highly energy efficient lighting, heating, plumbing, control, and mechanical systems; heating and cooling systems that use ground source (geo-thermal) technology; two rooftop gardens that students and staff can access to interact with others, study, or reflect quietly; and many “third space” (outside of the classroom) interactive learning spaces for quiet study, reflection, or meeting with one or two others to study or dialogue.

The Harned Center for Health Careers is funded through a capital allocation from the state legislature. Medical simulation equipment is funded through a private gift from Harned. The building is located on the south end of campus, north of the Pamela Transue Center for Science and Engineering.

Tacoma Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thurs., Sept. 6, 2012, to mark the beginning of construction of the (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) LEED Gold building.

During the ceremony today, Tacoma Community College Board of Trustees Chair Liz Dunbar, Tacoma Community College President Dr. Pamela Transue, and Congressman Derek Kilmer spoke about the importance of the new facility before joining other officials and Harned, who turns 97 years old on Saturday, in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Tacoma Community College officials provided guided public tours of the new building following the ceremony.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma Community College’s H.C. “Joe” Harned Center for Health Careers, click on the following links: