Technically, the ground has already been broken at the north end of the Salem campus. In fact, there is already a wall up.
But a groundbreaking ceremony for Chemeketa Community College’s new Applied Technology building was still a celebration of new facilities that will equip an educated workforce for well-paying jobs in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
With the already-constructed wall behind them, Interim President Julie Huckestein, Board of Education members Ed Dodson, Jackie Frankie and Diane Watson plus former Board of Education member Dan Ostlund stuck ceremonial shovels in the ground.
“We expect this investment in our educational infrastructure to make a significant contribution to the economy of our region through the graduates in our programs getting good jobs,” Huckestein said.
The $20.2 million building will be the new home of Chemeketa’s machining technology, computer-assisted drafting and engineering programs.
The faculty of those programs were present showcasing their work and tools that will be used in the new facility when it opens for the fall 2015 term.
Brandon Peters, a recent graduate of the machining program and a current welding students took the chance to check out a new piece of machining equipment – a Mori Seiki CNC lathe.
“I really want to take a class to learn this one,” Peters said.
The event also offered tours of the new Building 25, a $4.3 million project that is the new home of Chemeketa’s welding program.
The project is funded through the $92 million bond levy voters in Chemeketa’s district approved in 2008. The state Legislature allocated an additional $9 million.
Other projects funded by the bond levy include the new Yamhill Valley campus in McMinnville, new facilities at the Regional Training Facility in Brooks and the new Building 8 on the Salem campus, which houses life sciences.