By Dr. Ross Tomlin, TBCC President—It has been one year since the citizens of Tillamook County approved our $14.4M bond for constructing a new Healthcare Education Building on our campus. All of us at the college greatly appreciate the trust the county has in TBCC and our future. I want to provide an update on the progress being made not only on that project but also on the renovations to the Center for Industrial Technology building that is located across Third St. from the main campus.
The college has hired a project management firm, Wenaha, to coordinate and manage both projects. We have also hired Opsis to be the architects for both projects.
The Healthcare Education Building will be constructed across the college driveway from the main campus. It will contain all the Healthcare-related programs, including the new Nursing program that is slated to start next winter. It will also hold administrative offices which are badly needed, as well as a large community event center for college and community events and meetings.
The budget for this building is $22.4M, including the $14.4M from the local bond election last year along with $8M from the Oregon State Legislature as matching capital construction funds. The bonds from the local county election were sold last month and thanks to an excellent AA- rating, we sold all the bonds and obtained a premium of over $1M; we will now have over $23.5M to use for the project. The state bonds from the legislature will be sold this month, so we will have the full funds at the college to complete the project.
Three committees are working on the design of the new building. One is working on the instructional spaces for the healthcare programs, including classrooms and specialized labs for our nursing, medical assisting, nursing assistant, phlebotomy, EMT and paramedic, along with other programs we develop in the future. The second committee is working on the administrative space layout, and the third committee which includes community members, is working on the community event center space. We plan to complete the design phase this summer and break ground on the new facility by next winter. A June 2025 opening is hoped for so we can have the first indoor graduation on the TBCC campus in our history.
For the Center for Industrial Technology building, Opsis is working with staff on the design for the renovations that will include classroom and lab spaces for our Manufacturing and Welding programs. This building was purchased by the college two years ago and we then received a $1.1M grant from the Economic Development Administration agency of the federal government to fund the renovations. We plan to have the work completed by next winter with classes being held there by next spring.
We are very excited at the college to be in the process of constructing one new building and renovating another as TBCC continues to grow. With the Partners for Rural Innovation Building on Third St., the TBCC campus will then be composed of four buildings to serve Tillamook County. We will continue to add programs that will provide opportunities for people in our county to obtain high-paying positions locally or transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree.