If you were looking for some idea of where Tacoma Community College (TCC) plans to focus its attention over the next few years, you needed simply to attend a ceremony and celebration Aug. 31 to mark the groundbreaking and opening of the colleges newest building additions.
To the west: a gravel parcel slated to be home to the colleges new 77,200 square-foot, four-story Science Building, which will open in summer 2007.
To the east: the brand new 56,000 square-foot, three-story Information Technology Building, which opened to students earlier this year, and was honored during a celebration yesterday.
Indeed, science and information technology are clearly areas in which TCC plans to expand.
These buildings are outstanding additions to our learning environment, said TCC President Pamela Transue. We will be able to accommodate shifting demands as they occur, and provide a pleasant and modern gateway to the student community.
The IT Building houses classrooms, lab spaces, and an open computer lab that administrators call the Information Commons — which provides 85 computer work stations for student use.
The building serves three areas of expertise: electronics/wireless telecommunications engineering students and IT students, who work with state-of-the-art industry equipment; business students, who work in a simulation lab designed to support and extend experiential learning; and office professional technologies students, who work in contemporary classrooms and labs.
The new building allowed TCC to consolidate its IT instruction operations, moving the IT Certification and Testing Center from the Tacoma Mall to the new facility.
Funding for the building came from several sources. The state legislature approved $14.5 million in construction funding for the building in the 2003-2005 biennium, and $1.2 million in design funding in the 2001-2003 biennium.
Washington state provided a $500,000 matching grant to construct the Information Commons, and local matching funds were received from the Harold R. and Jessie B. Flowers Endowment Fund, the Frances C. Heidner Fund, the Forest Foundation, Grantmaker Consultants Inc., the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, the Associated Students of Tacoma Community College and the TCC Foundation. TCC also received federal funds totaling $450,000 for equipment and infrastructure in the Information Commons.
The IT Building was designed by Callison Architecture Inc. and constructed by Swinerton Builders.
The new Science Building will house classrooms, laboratory spaces, a greenhouse, faculty offices, and designated spaces for student interaction and study. It will also feature a fossil wall, reptile display area, two large aquariums, monitoring equipment connected to the building structure so forces such as stress, temperature and electrical load can be measured, and glass panes to allow viewing of work going on in labs.
The state legislature approved $29.5 million in construction funding in the 2005-2007 biennium and $2.4 million in design funding in the 2003-2005 biennium.
The building was designed by The Miller Hull Partnership. Soltek Pacific is the contractor.
To be here today to celebrate the opening of one building and the groundbreaking of another is indeed a momentous occasion, said State Rep. Patricia Lantz (D-Wa).
Were in desperate need of more people with math and science skills in the state, said Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wa). Tacoma Community College helps keep our economy going and gives students the skills to be employable.