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Floodgates open to torrent of new Construction

Tobey Veenstra

The Broadside

“It is going to be noisy, and it will probably shake the whole campus.” – Gene Zinkgraft

Although a record number of students are already filling the college this fall term, the construction projects at the Bend, Redmond, Madras, and Prineville campuses of Central Oregon Community College are still in their early phases.

The projects, which include new campus buildings, a Mazama hall classroom wing and elevator addition, and a new Culinary Center are intended to better serve the students and accommodate the increased enrollment, according to the COCC construction projects website.

The estimated budget for these projects, not including the Culinary Center, is $53 million, with $42 million coming from the 2009 voter-approved bond measure, and $11 million from the Oregon stimulus funds.

Two of the projects include a new health career building and a new science building at the Bend campus, which “will have the greatest impact on the college,” said Gene Zinkgraft, the director of construction.
Bend Campus Construction

The health career and science buildings are being constructed in order to meet the growing demand for allied health and nursing programs, and human biology and general chemistry courses at the college.

The three-story, 47,000 square-foot health career building will be located next to the Metolius hill road, said Zinkgraf, and will temporarily take the Metolius hill road and the library parking lot out of commission.

In the meantime, the expansion of the Barber Library parking lot should be completed in early Oct., with a net increase of 40 to 50 spaces and an extra access point from the north entrance of Mt. Washington Drive.

There will be a partial shutdown of College Way due to construction trucks and traffic control during the health career building construction, and a partial shutdown of Loop Road during the science building construction.

Along with closed roads and traffic delays, students should expect it to get loud during the construction of the science building, to be located below the Deschutes building.

“It is going to be noisy,” said Zinkgraf. “It will probably shake the whole campus.”

The two-story, 45,000 square-foot science building, which is in the development stage of the design phase, will include rooms and labs for human, natural, and microbiology as well as  physics, geology and three general classrooms, said Rick Hayes, the construction project manager for the science building.

“It is intended to provide better and more accurate space for the science programs,” said Hayes.

The construction work phase of the health building will start in Nov. of this year and the opening should be in spring 2012.

Bidding for the science building takes place Feb. 2011, said Hayes, with an opening set for fall 2012.
Redmond, Madras, and Prineville Campus Construction

The additions to the Redmond campus include a new Technology Education Center, set to open fall 2012, and a new parking lot, which is in the process of approval. If approved, the lot will add 40 parking spaces to the campus.

Construction for the first building on the Madras campus starts in January, with an opening set for fall 2011, said Zinkgraf.

The opening of the Prineville/Crook County open campus building is set for summer 2011.
Bend Campus Remodeling

The current construction projects able to be seen by students on the Bend campus are the Mazama Hall classroom wing addition, which is “going along rather well,” according to Zinkgraf, and the new Culinary Center.

The Mazama Hall is scheduled to be operational and open for classes in Jan. 2011 and the Culinary Center in Aug. or Sept. 2011.
For more information, visit the COCC construction projects website at

Caption as it appears in the paper.

You may contact Tobey Veenstra at




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