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Last of bond funds might go to Ochoco remodel

The Humanities and World Languages and Cultures departments are likely to get a newly-remodeled home.

The bond that helped fund many of the college’s construction projects for the last four years may help renovate Ochoco.

The November 2009 Bond Measure and Construction Fund, paid for by taxpayers within the Central Oregon Community College service district, is in its final stages. But after helping build the Health Careers Center, the Science Center, the Madras campus, a renovation in Redmond and the upcoming Redmond Technology Educations Center, the bond will likely put the Humanities and World Languages and Cultures Department in Ochoco.

Ochoco renovation moves ahead

After design began in September for the renovation, the Ochoco project is now at the stage of being accepted or rejected. The project is designed as either two-phase or one-phase. If approved, the Humanities Department renovation could occur first, with expected completion in December, and the World Languages and Cultures Department project would be slated for completion by spring quarter. Or, if implemented with the one-phase approach, both projects would be done consecutively,

Previously, a group including VP for Administration Matt McCoy, Instructional Dean Jennifer Newby, Construction Project Manager Rich Brecke, and key figures from both Pinnacle Architecture and the proposed COCC liberal arts departments met to discuss – and plan.

“The design includes office spaces for each department,” said Newby.

Per the group’s final renovation plan, World Languages and Humanities will have space and a language L=lab at Ochoco. Also planned is an anthropology and geography lab, a computer lab and some conference meeting spaces.

“It worked out really well,” said Brecke.

According to the plan, Ochoco would not have to be expanded to fit the departments and needed rooms. The remodel group does expect that they would have to knock out some walls and doors in order to effect the change. However, part of that process will be making the building more modern and ADA compliant, according to Brecke. Ochoco was built in 1964, and ADA Standards for Accessible Design have yet to be implemented.

Funding

If approved, coming up with the money for the Ochoco renovation shouldn’t be a problem, according to Newby. This fall COCC started with a construction budget totaling $1,066,800 of the total $1,778,000. Based on that dollar amount, the Board Real Estate Committee, a sub-committee of the board of directors, “has approved funds to design the full remodel,” according to Newby.

And Ochoco will also be relying on the end of the bond.

“We’re at the tail end of that,” Brecke said. “Just trying to figure out how to best use the rest.”

Crowded space?

If construction for renovation in Ochoco is approved to move ahead, construction workers will be juggling adding space to an already-filled building. But that shouldn’t be a problem, according to Brecke.

“What [the department] needed fit really nicely into the building,” Brecke said. “We weren’t struggling at all to fit offices in spaces.”

Even with the renovation, current general purpose classrooms would still be open for use as classrooms. Additionally, the plans have already met standard guidelines for designing offices, according to Brecke.

“I don’t think it will be crowded,” Newby said. “No more than it was when the building was occupied by all of the health programs and the Science Department.”

As college staff looks at starting another construction project, Brecke is satisfied with the progress.

“We’ve accomplished a lot,” Brecke said.

Junnelle Hogen | The Broadside
(Contact: jhogen@cocc.edu)

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