2017 will be remembered as a momentous year for Columbia Basin College and the wonderful community we serve. Projects completed this year will send ripples into our region for decades.
One Institution for Seamless Medical Education
June will bring the completion of the four-story Wortman Medical Sciences Center in Richland, adjacent to the Health Sciences Center and across the street from the original Richland campus, which will soon house the Health Sciences Academy for the Richland School District.
The concept is simple: Expand the portfolio of physicians in our community while preparing the next generations of healthcare workers at every level, from phlebotomists to doctors from WSU’s new medical school in Spokane.
Kadlec will house up to 36 general practice physicians completing their residencies in the first two floors of the new building. The third floor will be for expansion of current CBC programs and development of new ones. The fourth floor will be a Medical Running Start Center, which, in a unique project with Richland School District, will help local high school students interested in medical careers to begin developing their pathways.
Imagine a “9th through 16th learning center” where young people interested in medical pathways start at the Health Sciences Academy and then graduate with medical certificates, associate and applied bachelor degrees from Columbia Basin College. Imagine young people starting here and then transferring to degree paths in pre-med, pre-vet, pharmacy and other medical tracks.
A New Alternative High School in Pasco
In January, Pasco School District began leasing our CH2M Hill building as a new home for New Horizons High School (NHHS), currently in portable trailers at the bottom of the Argent Road exit off Highway 395.
Together, we are creating a second “9th through 16th learning center” that promises to blend the quarterly and hourly matrices of the two institutions so that at any given hour a student might be either a high school or college student … or both! The “big idea” is for every NHHS student to graduate with at least one college credential. CBC’s dual-credit programs will create many tuition-free opportunities for students to graduate high school work-ready or able to continue easily with higher education.
A Residential Village with Sigma and Paragon Housing
Two longtime community businesses have joined forces with the college to begin the construction of a “College Village” across the street from our main campus. Five acres, just north of the Best Western hotel, will be developed over the next several years to accommodate as many as 400 residential students. This need is spurred by the projected growth of the community and college, which increasingly offers bachelor degrees to support niche labor markets such as cyber security, project management and other areas important to the regional economy. A vibrant residential district will also spur economic development in this part of Pasco as student demands for retail services increase. The first building, with 47 units and 123 beds, will be ready this fall.
Recently, we became one of six community colleges nationwide to be selected by the Aspen Institute and Gates Foundation to work at redesigning the “choice architecture” for student achievement at CBC. While not as easy to describe but frankly more important than anything else, we are engaging in efforts that will continue to make us national leaders in student progress and completion.
As always, Columbia Basin College focuses on moving our community forward in an economy that requires a post-secondary credential from 70 percent of its citizens. We thank you for the opportunity to serve.