Portland Community College has a $185 million bond measure on the Nov. 7 ballot that would go toward repairs, renovation of facilities and replacement of outdated equipment and technology at North and Northeast sites and other campuses.
If the bond passes it would maintain a tax rate of 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for 16 years, said James Hill, an information officer at PCC, which serves more than 75,000 full and part-time students.
Originally constructed as a supermarket, the buildings became the training center in 1998. With its partner, the Oregon Department of Human Services, the college’s Workforce Development Program is housed in the center to provide classes and employment training for family-wage jobs.
“This center helps people get out of poverty,” said Abdul Majidi, the program director. “People love what is in the heart of these buildings. We have the highest diversity of clients of any of the other PCC centers, and we serve a community that speaks 18 different languages.”
However, the building wasn’t constructed for students nor today’s training and education needs, Majidi said. In addition, the wiring is outdated, the classrooms are awkwardly laid out, and the aging HVAC system racks up $2 million a year in maintenance costs yet still overheats some rooms and leaves others too cold.
“The things we can do are growing,” he said, “but the center can’t accommodate our growth needs.”
Bond funding also would repair and renovate the Cascade Campus public safety building and an old dental education building, and it would add space for safety officers to meet with community partners.
Also on the list are upgrading more facilities to meet standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, upgrading computers and labs, renovating the Health Technology building, and developing new interactive training spaces for health care professions programs. Additional information is available at www.pcc.edu.