Plans for Big Bend CC building submitted to county

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Courtesy graphic An architect’s rendering of the new building due to open at Big Bend Community College in 2020.

MOSES LAKE — Plans for the new workforce education center at Big Bend Community College will be submitted to Grant County building officials for review next week.

The building’s name was changed from “professional-technical education center” but its purpose is the same. It will house BBCC’s technical education programs, with the exception of aviation maintenance. That will remain in its current location next to the runway at the Grant County International Airport.

Linda Schoonmaker, BBCC vice-president of finance and administration, told the college’s board of trustees that the plan review would cost the college about $4,000. Schoonmaker provided an update at the regular trustee meeting Wednesday.

The building will be built opposite the ATEC building, in a currently vacant lot on Bolling Street. The original plan of college officials was to submit the project for bid this year, opening the building for classes in 2020. But the project is one of many stalled by a dispute in the Washington Legislature.

Construction funding is provided through the state’s capital budget, revised every two years and scheduled for approval in 2017. But Washington Senate Democrats and Republicans are at odds over a Washington Supreme Court decision regarding water rights for some residential wells around the state. Republicans are asking for a resolution of the water issue before approval of the capital budget.

Workshops for the automotive, welding, fabrication, maintenance mechanics and industrial systems technology programs will be located on the building’s first floor, with computer science and transfer-degree STEM programs on the second floor. Four classrooms will be part of the first floor. Auto mechanics classes will have separate classrooms for first-year and second-year students.

The building – more than 70,000 square feet – and the outdoor instruction spaces associated with the programs will take up the entire lot, Schoonmaker said. A new parking lot will be developed on College Parkway, behind an existing parking lot.

The front entrance will open onto Bolling Street, and will feature two classroom-meeting rooms with doors that will allow equipment to be moved in and out.

Schoonmaker announced she and trustee Jon Lane are part of a committee evaluating project proposals for the 2019-21 capital budget. Big Bend didn’t submit any projects, she said, because the college didn’t have any potential projects that qualified.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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