chemeketa students

Yamhill Valley campus dedication Feb. 21

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa Yamhill Valley dedicationChemeketa Community College’s second full campus will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Feb. 21.

The expansion of the former McMinnville center into the Yamhill Valley campus now means Chemeketa students in Yamhill County can fulfill all the requirements to receive an Associate’s degree without having to take some of those courses at Chemeketa’s Salem campus. Chemeketa is now the second community college in Oregon to have multiple campuses.

The college, which serves Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, has had a presence in Yamhill Valley for over 35 years, beginning the McMinnville center in modular buildings the college received from Linn Benton Community College.

In 2008, voters approved a bond levee for several new construction project at multiple Chemeketa locations. A combination of $14.3 million from this bond, $6.2 million in construction funds allocated by the state Legislature and $1 million in auxiliary services funding went into the construction of the new facilities. Work began at the former Tanger Outlet Mall location on Norton Road with a wine-pouring event in May 2010 and classes began in the new facilities during the 2011 fall term.

Yamhill Valley was officially designated a campus in September 2011 through a formal accrediting evaluation by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. This evaluation looks at the courses and services offered in order to determine whether a full campus designation has been earned.

The Yamhill Valley campus also has its own president: Patrick Lanning, Chemeketa’s chief academic officer, was appointed to the position in November by Chemeketa president Cheryl Roberts.

The new facilities boast features such as library services, study areas, computer labs and food services. Several technical education options are offered only at Yamhill Valley, including hospitality & tourism management, speech language pathology and the only hemodialysis technician program in the state of Oregon.

The college also worked with McMinnville Water & Light staff on finding energy-saving opportunities in the new construction. Those efforts are expected to save 500,000 kilowatt hours of energy consumption per year – enough to power almost 30 average homes.

The opening will also debut the installation of nearly 50 pieces of art produced entirely by Yamhill Valley-area artists. The artwork is on display throughout the facilities.

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