New projects, 2 buildings being planned

The UCC board recently approved paying $627,763 out of the college’s general fund to pay for architectural design and documentation work for the Allied Health & Science Building in anticipation of asking the community for a $40 million bond next May.

The $627,763 payment went to OPSIS Architecture in Portland, a three partner firm. A contractor is expected to be chosen by the third week in June.

The $627,763 for the design will be reimbursed if the bond passes. The architectural payment was meant to facilitate access to a $8.5 million community college capital construction fund awarded to UCC which must be used within six years or the money will be go back to the legislature.

Vice President of Administrative Services Bev Brandt explains that by the time the bond gets on the ballot, three years will already have passed, half of the college’s allocated time from the state to access these funds. “That’s why it is so important the bond passes,” says Brandt. “It’s really important; it’s about putting people to work in Douglas County.”

UCC has been working on the bond process since 2008 with faculty brought in for assistance in 2009.

Phase One

The $25 million Allied Health & Science building is one piece of a four phase $40 million construction project that aims to bring two new buildings to the current UCC campus as well as repurpose current campus facilities. Additional facilities for South County residents will also be developed if the bond passes.

The Allied Health & Science building to be built between Jacoby and the gym would be a new location for the nursing program, dental program and science classes. As the first stage of the construction, it could take approximately 18 months to build.

Phase Two

The second phase of the project is the repurposing of the Science building and Wayne Crouch Hall at an estimated cost of $6 million once the Allied Health & Science building has been completed. This phase will also include construction activity in South County.

Pilot testing to measure community support was started in winter and is still continuing to see how receptive South County will be to additional UCC educational offerings in their area. Many of these offerings currently are Adult Ed and Community Ed courses which are being held in rented facilities.

Brandt talks about the importance of the bond passing and what it will mean for students as well as the community. “Our students need to be trained with the latest equipment.”

Dennis O’Neill, director of the UCC Foundation, adds, “Douglas County deserves better, and we will have better facilities. . . . With help from the community, we build [the campus] a building at a time.”

Phase Three

The third phase will begin construction on the new Industrial Arts and Technology Training Center. This is proposed to cost $15.5 million and could take another 18 months to complete. This will move the automotive department from Lockwood Hall, as well as provide a new location for programs like welding and machining.

Phase Four

The final phase of construction will be the repurposing of Lockwood Hall. This could take as little as two months and is projected to cost $2 million.
If the bond is passed, the impact on Douglas County property owners would be an additional tax of $0.33-$0.40 per $1000 of estimated property value. A homeowner with a home worth $220,085 (the average residential sale price for a Roseburg home in 2010) could pay an additional $72.63 towards the bond in property taxes per year over a possible proposed 25 year period.

In an economically depressed time, when the unemployment rate is at an eight month high, asking taxpayers to pay more is a challenge. Bentley Gilbert, director of Community Relations and Marketing, says, “There really isn’t a good time [to ask for a bond]. The public will respond to good information.”

The campaign for the bond is underway; buttons at graduation will be distributed that declare, “I am UCC” and a banner will be hung across the future site of the Allied Health & Science building.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.