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News Release
PCC unveils new state-of-the-art barn at Rock Creek Campus (Photo) - 05/13/24

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – Portland Community College unleashed its “Animal House” on May 10 during a ribbon cutting with key Washington County partners.

PCC officially opened its new 10,000-square-foot barn at the Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. It replaces an older barn that was nearly 50 years old that was beset by structural issues and a lack of quality education space and technology. The new barn is a modern facility designed to enhance the Veterinary Technology Program and improve animal welfare.

The program is crucial in meeting the workforce needs of the region – the Oregon Employment Department projects employment growth of 23.1% through 2029. A veterinary technician provides essential nursing care for all animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The program is one of only two of its kind in Oregon, and only one of five in the Northwest.

“PCC has had a history of standing up for workforce development,” said Pam Treece, Washington County commissioner. “Workforce development as we approach the next 10, 15 and 20 years is critical to our economic development. We have to work hand in hand with PCC to educate our workforce. The beauty of PCC is that it stands at the nexus of what the student needs and wants, and what the business community needs and wants.”

In general, there are 4-5 jobs available for every Vet Tech graduate. Technicians can work in clinics, wildlife preserves, zoos, animal shelters and diagnostic labs, to name a few opportunities.

“The pandemic took a huge toll on veterinarians and veterinary technicians, and there is a high demand to increase the workforce,” said Dr. Adrien Bennings, PCC president. “Facilities like this new barn are helping PCC address those technician shortages.”

The barn, funded through the college’s 2017 bond, boasts modern features, including recessed flooring for animal pens, state-of-the-art water feeders, full internet connectivity, and internal cameras for animal monitoring. The design prioritizes efficiency and animal welfare, aligning with PCC's commitment to excellence in education and sustainability.

The facility is at the center of a fully operational farm with cattle, sheep, horses, and other livestock – as well as dogs, cats, and more. The real-world training students receive prepares them to become a certified veterinary technician. Ninety percent of PCC Vet Tech graduates have passed the veterinary technician national exam over the previous three years – 21% above the national average.

Students can now use a state-of-the-art classroom right next to the animals and utilize an ultrasound machine. The new barn will also be a community space for further awareness activities associated with animal care, small farms, and connecting the program to local high schools.

“The big part of preparing students for their careers is hands-on experience, and we are very lucky in this program to have a facility to provide that experience,” said Dr. Ragan Borzcik, Veterinary Technology Program chair. “The number one thing is it won’t allow the weather to rain on us when we are inside, which the old barn used to do. And, lighting in the old barn made learning really hard to identify parts of the animal when we would draw blood. Students would have to take their phones out of their pockets and use the flashlights.

“This facility is amazing for us,” she added. “There are lots of ways this will benefit our program.”

Key Info:

Project Manager: Stephen Wasserberger, Otak CPM

Design Team: Opsis Architecture

Contractor: Ross Builders Northwest

Budget: $4,000,000

Construction Completion: April 2024

For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/bond/, or www.pcc.edu/rock-creek-farm/


About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

 Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

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