Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) new $21 million residence hall was ceremoniously opened on Sept. 17, 2015, though the real celebration happened on Sept. 24, when students were permitted to occupy the facility. According to Dan Brock, the residence hall director, approximately 270 students have moved in with room for more.
“We have space for 330 students,” he said.
Though any registered student is welcome to apply to live in the residence hall, the hall’s current tenants are primarily 18–22 year olds from all parts of the States. “We actually marked where all our students are coming from on a map in the hall. We have students coming from Texas, Hawaii, Kansas City and all over the Pacific Northwest,” Brock said.
COCC is among the 25 percent of community colleges nationwide that offer on-campus housing options, according to US News.
Gordon Price, director of student life, stated that COCC has been wanting a residence hall for almost 20 years.
“Two years ago, we began making construction plans and waiting on the COCC Board of Directors to approve.”
It comes at no surprise, he said that the board took caution and weighed every possible outcome before approving the dorms.
“The board had to be sure that this decision would be reasonable, beneficial and good for the students first. This wasn’t a light undertaking.” Price said.
Many students at the residence hall came for the same reasons: to pay cheaper tuition, and to receive the whole college experience.
Wanda Humphrey, a freshman at COCC, is no exception as her mother, Sofia Vasquez, explained:
“I’m comfortable leaving my daughter here. She wanted to find a college far enough from home to get the full experience but close enough to home to visit when she wants.
Humphrey originally applied to Oregon State University and had planned to go to OSU-Cascades, but upon hearing about the new Residence Hall, she applied at COCC instead.
“It’s cheaper and I still can do what I wanted to if I had attended OSU,” Humphrey said.
Her mother was pleased with the decision as well:
“She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do. This is a perfect way to try out the general studies before going to an expensive school,” Sofia Humphrey said. “She can focus on finding what she really wants to do.”
Liz McKeown | The Broadside