A building for the future

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This won’t come as a surprise to anyone but it needs to be stated: I am very proud of the new instructional building on our Northwest Campus.

The gorgeous addition to PCC’s newest campus was dedicated Thursday at a ceremony attended by about 100 business and community leaders, as well as PCC students, employees and Board members. The brief ribbon-cutting ceremony marked a significant milestone for the Campus and the entire College.

The building is a true gem. Designed by the Tucson firm of Burns Wald-Hopkins Shambach Architects, it features flexible learning spaces that can be configured to meet individual classroom needs. It has expanded space for Northwest’s Hotel and Restaurant Management and Clinical Research Coordinator programs. The dedicated lab spaces for mathematics and the sciences are truly state-of-the-art.

The building will strengthen and build on our ties to our K-12 partners, to our community partners, to our university partners, and to our business and industry partners. Its classrooms will serve the entire community as PCC grows its high-need Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to support southern Arizona’s workforce.

As Ed Stolmaker, president/CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce, said during the ceremony, a qualified STEM workforce is essential to the prosperity of our region. That observation was echoed by Dave Perry, president/CEO of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce. Dave remarked that the founders of two of the area’s top bioscience companies got their starts in academia. Dave put it aptly: Higher education “is the place where the future begins.”

And Juan Ciscomani of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce spoke for many in noting that as a 2003 PCC alumnus and the first in his family to graduate from college, “Pima gave a lot to me.”

What is true for Juan is true for many who attend PCC. I noted at the ceremony that our Northwest Campus is a favorite location for adult learners preparing for their high school equivalency exams. We are striving to make all of PCC a place where everyone, regardless of where they start, can progress on their education journey. The Northwest building is our newest center for students to achieve their goals. It will help positions PCC to our community well into the 21st century.

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