Monthly Archives: November 2011

PCC Bond Team building homes with Habitat for Humanity

In the spirit of PCC’s 50th anniversary service challenge to give back to the communities that have supported the college, 15 staff members from the PCC Bond Program volunteered their time and energy on November 19, 2011, to help construct homes for low-income families in North Portland.

On a chilly Saturday morning, more than 50 volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps, PCC Bond Program and other organizations, including one future Habitat for Humanity homeowner – Michelle Speakman, each donated seven hours to construct soffits (underside of roof overhang), wrap exterior posts, cut and install exterior siding, set up construction heaters, and secure and clean up the construction site.

Michelle Speakman, a single mother of two, already had several days of home building under her belt as she has accrued sweat equity by physically working on site to build both her home and her family’s independence from the ground up. “I’ve heard such wonderful stories about the services that Habitat provides,” Michelle said. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to build my own home with other Habitat homeowners and volunteers. It gives me the feeling that I am part of a strong community,” Michelle said.

Tamatha Hoyez, from the PCC Bond Office, organized the hugely successful volunteer effort with Marianne McClure, the Habitat for Humanity project manager. Huge kudos to both women and to Terrie Ezzat and Linda Degman, Bond Program Director, for providing a great breakfast and lunch spread for the hungry construction crew!

Mayors celebrate PCC-Washington County partnerships

As Portland Community College begins $60 million worth of construction and improvements to the Rock Creek Campus on NW Springville Road via its Bond Program, three mayors of Washington County cities and numerous business leaders applauded the college’s other building work – partnerships.

Left to right, Intel's Jill Eiland, PCC District President Preston Pulliams and Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey share a light moment during a partnership breakfast at the Rock Creek Campus.

“We all know jobs are what we are desperately seeking,” said Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. “If we don’t provide jobs we are going to fall so far behind the world economy. The community college provides a very direct connection to our businesses and it’s a great tool to brag with when you are trying to convince somebody to bring a 10-person office or 50-person business here.”

At a recent 50th anniversary event honoring the college’s longstanding business and government partners, Mayor Doyle, Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey and Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax, encouraged PCC to continue building on its partnerships with industry in Washington County. The mayors echoed the already fruitful liaisons the college has with Intel, SolarWorld and Genentech where PCC tailored workforce training to the companies’ needs. Genentech, along with fellow Westside bioscience firms HemCon and Welch Allyn, select students out of PCC’s bioscience technology short-term training program, which is housed at Rock Creek.

Genentech needed some specific education training for their workforce and they went to PCC,” said Mayor Willey. “They and PCC developed classes to educate the workforce that they needed. They did the same thing with Intel. To me that is just amazing that a college as big as PCC, you can still sit down with the president and say this is what we need and they would design a course for your employment. That’s a partnership.”

Partners range from small business to international corporations

Intel Corporation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars to PCC’s Microelectronics Technology Program at Rock Creek and offers technical support in the form of donated equipment every year. In addition, Intel hires around 20 Microelectronics Technology students as interns while they attend classes every year.

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle talks about how PCC is key to helping him lure business to his city.


“We needed more technicians to come to work at our factories and since the Rock Creek Campus is right here in our backyard in Washington County we reached out and said ‘Can you help co-design a microelectronics training program and if so we’d like to take as many of your graduates as we can,’” said Jill Eiland, Intel’s Corporate Affairs Manager for the Northwest Region. “We’re committed to the success of the program and the professors at PCC are committed to teaching real world skills.”

The partnerships are reinforced through support to students so they have the resources they need to complete their degrees or training. Twenty-five percent of PCC Foundation scholarship recipients come from Washington County and many of the scholarships are funded by county businesses like Heitzman Auto Body & Paint and Madden Industrial Craftsman, both Beaverton companies that are represented on training advisory boards at the college.

“Washington County is thriving,” said Rock Creek Campus President David Rule. “We have major cities that are attracting businesses and this is the place to be in all of Oregon. Washington County is key to our success here at Rock Creek. Washington County is 70 percent of our total enrollment. That’s critical for us.”

The partnerships based out of PCC’s Washington County locations are numerous. In addition to Intel and Genentech, the college worked with the largest photovoltaic manufacturer in the United States, SolarWorld AG, when it opened its 480,000-square-foot production plant to produce skilled, on-the-job trainers.

Other companies that hire graduates include Hillsboro’s Columbia Industries, which makes solid waste equipment and self-propelling systems for oil rigs, and hires students from PCC’s Welding Program. Its Managing Director, Jeff Van Raden, serves on the welding program’s advisory committee and is the PCC Foundation President. And Hillsboro Aviation allows Aviation Science Program students access to a FAA certified flight school at Hillsboro Airport.

PCC addresses underemployed, access to education

A few miles to the south at PCC’s brand new Willow Creek Center, the college’s Washington County Workforce Development Program runs the Entry Level High Tech Skills Training Program – a partnership between Vanguard-EMS of Beaverton, Precision Wire Components of Tualatin, Axiom Electronics of Beaverton and ViaSystems of Forest Grove. The Willow Creek Center (185th and Baseline Road) was opened at the end of 2009 as part of the college’s 2008 bond measure. The center serves as a one-stop for the unemployed and under-employed.

Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax knows all about PCC's connections to the community. He's a former instructor.

“We have to have an educated workforce to be successful in our communities,” Willey added. “And the way you do that is you work with organizations like PCC. We couldn’t be as successful as we are without those kinds of partnerships.”

Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax underscored that the partnerships don’t have to be corporate. A recent joint effort between Pacific University in Forest Grove and PCC allows the college to host credit courses at Pacific. In addition, PCC’s Dual Credit Program partners with Tualatin, Tigard, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Beaverton school districts to provide college-level classes for their high school students. A former PCC student and speech and communications instructor at Rock Creek, Truax said PCC is critical in preparing not only workforces, but future college students, too.

“It’s a benefit to me and hopefully to the students I taught in my classes, not only in speech classes at PCC, but also in the classes I taught later at Forest Grove High School and Neil Armstrong Middle School,” said Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax. “That’s just one example of how PCC ripples throughout the community. They have had 50 good years and I know they will have at least 50 more.”

To partners and community, ‘Battle for Rock Creek’ was worth it

Ever since the Rock Creek Campus started in 1976-77, thanks to the determination and grit of the college’s founding president Dr. Amo DeBernardis, the campus has grown rapidly from 600 students then to serving 25,800 students today, making it the fastest growing PCC campus. DeBernardis was adamant about extending that opportunity to residents of Washington County when he went against the conventional wisdom at the time in the well-known “Battle for Rock Creek.”


PCC Board Chair Jim Harper talks with Pulliams while Rock Creek President David Rule and board member David Squire meet.

“The basis for our innovation, the ability to be creative, is when Rock Creek was started 35 years ago with the vision of our founding president Dr. DeBernardis who pushed, and cajoled and worked to have a campus here,” said PCC District President Preston Pulliams. “And he had a lot of detractors about that vision who pushed back and said, ‘Now wait a minute there is nothing there. Nothing is going on. Why should we invest college money or public dollars to come out here?’ That value and vision of creativity and being out and accessible and being innovative remains one of our key values.”

For it’s 50th anniversary, the college is celebrating 50 years of creating educational opportunity for more than 1.3 million people by honoring and thanking the community this year with 50,000 hours of service projects. Already, the next 50 year’s infrastructure is being planned and started. The Bond Program will add roughly 120,000-square-feet of classroom, bookstore and study spaces, including a whole new academic division to bring the total to five at Rock Creek.

“When we talk about opportunity at PCC we are talking about opportunity for everyone no matter where they are from or their background,” said Pulliams.


PCC-Washington County partnerships Video

PCC Newberg architects nab sustainability design honor

The accolades continue to roll in for Portland Community College’s Newberg Center.

Hennebery Eddy Architects garnered top honors, winning the Sustainable Design Award from the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects as part of the organization’s 2011 Design Awards. The honor was for the firm’s work on PCC Newberg, considered to be “on the path to Net Zero” and Portland Community College’s newest and “greenest” facility yet.

Hennebery Eddy received the Sustainability Award from the Portland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for their design of the PCC Newberg Academic Center in 2011. Photo by Stephen A. Miller.

The awards ceremony took place at The Portland Art Museum on Oct. 27.

This honor marks the second award that Hennebery Eddy Architects has won for its design of PCC Newberg. The firm nabbed runner-up in the “As Designed” category by Architecture 2030 at the first-ever 2030 Challenge Design Awards in October 2010.

“We have had so much fun designing this building – because of its sustainability features and because of PCC’s support to go for the Net Zero classification,” said Tim Eddy, principal, Hennebery Eddy Architects. “PCC Newberg Center is one of the first of its kind, anywhere.”

At 13,500 square feet, PCC Newberg – which opened its doors to students this fall – is the first building constructed on nearly 16 acres that the college purchased in late 2009. The facility features five classrooms, two of which can become one large multi-purpose room when the folding partition is opened. Administration space, a reception area and a large Commons area for student interaction are part of the mix, too.

More than being “just” new and modern, the building is unique because of its sustainability attributes: PCC Newberg is anticipated to be “Net Zero, Carbon-Neutral” – meaning it will generate the same amount of energy it expends – once additional solar panels are installed in mid-February and assessed over the course of a year. The center is one of only a handful of academic facilities in the country considered “Net Zero-ready.”

“The building’s energy efficiency results from implementation of new technology to operate relatively simple building systems – like passive ventilation, radiant heating, natural daylight and solar energy,” said Project Manager Gary Sutton.

“This common sense approach enabled us to eliminate conventional mechanical systems, such as air handlers and air conditioning units,” Sutton said, “which saves energy and money and helps to reduce carbon emissions.”

At the Center, fans in the classrooms, offices and Commons help keep the building comfortable on hot days by making the building feel three degrees cooler through air movement. Photo by Stephen A. Miller.

A snapshot of the building’s many “green” attributes includes:

  • Innovative heating and cooling systems – When open, louvers on the exterior wall of the building draw in fresh air from outside, which circulates inside, rises and is released through five stacks along the building’s central spine rooftop. Ceiling fans throughout the building can be turned on to create air movement that drops the ambient temperature by three degrees.
  • Exposed concrete slab floors and concrete shear walls act as thermal mass in the building, helping to maintain even indoor temperatures throughout the year. Concrete absorbs and stores heat and then releases it many hours later. The concrete slab floors have tubing with 90-degree water running through it to heat the building to 68 degrees.
  • Special lighting – Building skylights are integrated into a sloped ceiling system designed to bring even and diffused light to the classroom and office spaces, reducing the need for electric lights.
  • Bi-facial solar panels – These harvest solar energy, some of which is used by the building. Excess energy goes back to the power grid for use by the community at large.
Natural light Ceiling design, photo by Stephen A. Miller

To reduce the building's energy use by over 15%, skylights in the classrooms and administrative area are integrated into a sloped ceiling system designed to provide even and diffused light without the need for electric lights.

In addition to being “Net Zero-ready,” PCC Newberg Center is aiming for platinum level LEED-NC certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design with a special focus on new construction.

“PCC Newberg is off to a fabulous start,” said Linda Gerber, Ed.D., president of the PCC Sylvania Campus. “This fall the center had nearly 650 enrollments, and now, thanks to Hennebery Eddy, the facility is getting top honors because of its green design.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the launch of the center – both for how it’s meeting the educational needs of the community and how it’s helping the college to meet its sustainability goals,” said Gerber.

The Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects is one of nearly 300 state and local chapters throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857.

Sylvania Open Houses draw neighborhood leaders and campus stakeholders

Nearly 40 PCC students, faculty and staff and neighborhood leaders participated in two on-campus events to learn about bond-funded improvements planned for Sylvania campus.

About a dozen student leaders attended the daytime open house. The information session highlighted bond-funded improvements planned for the campus.

About a dozen student leaders attended the daytime open house. The information session highlighted bond-funded improvements planned for the campus.

The open house events, hosted by the PCC Bond Team, GBD Architects and campus administration on Tuesday, November 1, provided campus stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions, learn about projects planned for the winter and spring, and understand the construction schedule.

Many of the bond-funded projects at Sylvania campus support the College’s 2009 Climate Action Plan. These include the newly installed energy efficient dehumidifiers for the campus pool area,  Clear Edge fuel cells to provide power to Sylvania’s Health Technology Building and  to heat that building’s swimming pool, and upgrades to the heating hot water loop.

Linda Gerber, president of PCC Sylvania, addressed a crowd of more than a dozen faculty, staff and neighborhood association members who wanted to learn about bond-funded improvements at the campus.

Linda Gerber, president of PCC Sylvania, addressed a crowd of more than a dozen faculty, staff and neighborhood association members who wanted to learn about bond-funded improvements at the campus.

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