Workforce education building coming along

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Lydig Construction/courtesy image The new workforce education building at BBCC is progressing on schedule.

MOSES LAKE — The new workforce education building on the Big Bend Community College campus should be open for classes by winter and spring quarter 2020.

Construction has progressed to the point where a building is starting to emerge. “We’ve actually got walls,” said Matt Killebrew, BBCC’s director of communications.

The 70,000-square-foot facility will house the college’s technical education programs, with the exception of aviation maintenance. Aviation maintenance will remain in its current location next to the runway at the Grant County International Airport.

About $35 million of the project is being funded through the Community College Capital Construction Fund.

Substantial completion is projected for September, Killebrew said. When it’s done, the auto mechanics program will move into the new space. “They will be the first program that’s in the new building,” he said.

The existing auto shop will be demolished. The new aviation maintenance facility will be built on the site of the old auto shop, and its existing building will be demolished.

Many of the tech programs are housed in buildings that date back to the days when the campus was a U.S. Air Force base. As those programs move into new quarters, the old buildings will be demolished. The funding from the state came with a string – the old buildings must be torn down once the current tenants move out. Killebrew said the remaining programs, which include industrial systems and welding, among others, should start moving by December 2019 and January 2020.

The cost of the main floor will be paid for by the state construction money, but BBCC officials added a second floor, which will be paid for with locally-raised funds. Fundraising is under way, although college officials have declined to say how much has been raised to date. An announcement on the fundraising campaign will be made in February, Killebrew said. The target is about $3.75 million.

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

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