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Capital Projects

Proud of our past...building our future

About our capital projects

The Centralia College Foundation's $3 million Capital Campaign offers everyone the opportunity to become a stakeholder in the growth and continued development of the state's oldest continuously operating community college—and to fulfill the dreams of deserving students for years to come. The college has embarked on three major capital projects to improve and expand instructional facilities, student services, and health and wellness opportunities on campus:
  1. New Science Center (NSC)
  2. Health & Wellness Center (HWC & Gym Renovation)
  3. TransAlta College Commons (Kemp Hall & Student Services Building)

New Science Center (NSC)

Science Center architectural sketch

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An increasing shortage of science, technology, engineering, and math graduates from the nation's colleges is having a negative impact on the nation's position as a leader in research and production in those fields. In recognition of the need to educate students in these "STEM" fields, Centralia College, already a partner with the National Science Foundation, successfully sought and obtained state funding for a New Science Center (NSC). The facility is located on the corner of Washington Avenue and Centralia College Blvd, on the college campus. The NSC is a vital facility that will help the college meet the demanding challenges in STEM education and help restore America to its leadership position.

The expansive three-story complex includes areas for practical and academic training in earth sciences, biological and health sciences, natural sciences, and emerging technologies, all offering unprecedented opportunities for students in professional and technical disciplines. Because of the high quality of the NSC and the outstanding faculty, the college offers a level of education that upholds its high academic standards.

The NSC, which cost about $32 million, will be among the first in the region to achieve a LEED Silver rating for energy-efficient "green" building standards. LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design classification, recognizes architecture, design, and energy usage that helps achieve climate neutrality.

The NSC replaces Ehret Hall, Lingren Hall, the Health Sciences Annex, and the Batie Science Center. The new facility allows the college to consolidate science education and affiliated programs into a single more efficient and student-friendly center. The state-of-the-art complex replaces buildings that have outlived their original design expectations by decades.

This major facility needs as much as one million dollars that is not provided through state resources to secure equipment and augment programs for the expanded training and development of our most promising young science students. This final but crucial funding component for the NSC has been undertaken by the Centralia College Foundation as part of the exciting Capital Campaign. The NSC becomes one third of the foundation's capital campaign. Together with the Health and Wellness Center and the new TransAlta College Commons, the Science Center will advance Centralia College to one of the finest in the Pacific Northwest.

Health and Wellness Center (HWC)

Health and Wellness Center architectural sketch

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The venerable high school gym, now home to Centralia College Trailblazer athletics and wide-ranging health and wellness programs, was completed in 1936. The property at Iron and Walnut Streets had been purchased for that purpose by the Centralia School District.

After minor improvements and renovations had been made, the gymnasium became part of Centralia College in 1969. Small improvements continued to be made, but none could bring the old facility up to the standard needed to serve the college and community with adequate health and wellness opportunities. While college and community athletic teams continue to utilize the facility, the demand for larger and more effective health-related activities is heard from dozens of user groups including cancer survivors, those in cardio therapy, weight-loss programs, and many other health and wellness activities.

It was determined that a major renovation would be essential to adequately address serious deficiencies in the old center. Engineers determined the building to be structurally sound and college and community leaders recognized the historical significance of one the last art deco-style buildings in the region. Renovation, rather than new construction, was clearly the most responsible course of action and the one best supported by the community.

Entrances were upgraded, facilities for athletes and spectators greatly improved, and the renovated facility increases services to the community in many different ways. Designers believed the grand old structure should be a source of pride to the college and the region. The renovation of the Health & Wellness Center into an up-to-date facility will be accomplished with existing funding, a matching grant from the state, and one million dollars in private donations to match the grant by the state.

TransAlta College Commons

TransAlta College Commons architectural sketch

Another phase of the Capital Campaign and one that most affects the community and the college—especially those who graduate from Centralia College—is the TransAlta College Commons. This facility will give students, faculty and the community the social nucleus around which long-lasting relationships are forged. The new Commons, with immediate and practical contributions, will replace the current student center, which was built to K-12 standards instead of college needs, and Kemp Hall, already serving well beyond its projected life expectancy.

Of special significance to supporters of the new facility is the fact that Centralia College students overwhelmingly voted to assess themselves a building replacement fee, which will support debt service on a portion of the construction costs. The expansive, multipurpose facility will house academic functions, student services, auxiliary services, and include a public-use area that could host community activities, ceremonies, and easily be converted to a reception area that would provide the region's 500-seat sit-down dining and entertainment experiences. The latter would be an extension of a cafeteria that would serve the everyday needs of the college. The present cafeteria long ago became too small to adequately serve the college.

Among essential services that would be housed in the new Commons will be Financial Aid, Student Employment, Registration, Enrollment Services, Cashiering, International Student Program service and Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, and Student Support Service (TRiO programs). The Commons would house additional needed computer labs, a writing center and a math center. The true value of this exceptional project, however, may be the ability to provide students, faculty, and the community with a forum of understanding. Like the "Quad" at the University of Washington or the "Yard" at Harvard, this facility may be the touchstone of our future as a vibrant part of the community while it builds a place in time and memory that bonds our alumni one to another. It is expected to serve as a facility that melds the college and the communities we serve into a positive entity. The Capital Campaign will seek one million dollars to complete this project.