It took little more than a decade, but Portland Community College earlier this month hit a milestone when it secured property near Scappoose Industrial Airpark to build an educational campus in Columbia County.
Voters in 2008 approved PCC's monumental $374 million capital construction bond. Columbia County voters approached the bond with disdain, however — among the projects considered, none were slated for Columbia County, which hosts a small percentage of voters in the broader PCC tax district,
and a majority of Columbia County voters rejected the bond.
PCC officials pledged to devote some of the 2008 bond money toward construction of a facility in Columbia County, however. College leaders initially sought to piggyback on other projects that failed to materialize near the airport, but the emergence of the Oregon Manufacturing and Innovation District Research & Development in March 2016 provided a foundation for future growth, and in 2016 PCC approved a resolution to
purchase land in Columbia County for an educational center.
Following a year of negotiation, the sellers of 17.5 acres adjacent to the Scappoose airport and in the vicinity of OMIC R&D backed out of a land deal with PCC. The community college's leadership signaled its intent in September to exercise eminent domain authority for the property, noting that the property owners had entered into a sale agreement which they ultimately reneged on.
Earlier last month, following a condemnation action in Columbia County Circuit Court, PCC received the green light to take possession of the target property for an offered sale price of $3.19 million.
With the land in hand, PCC plans to construct a $24 million, 31,000- square-foot workforce training center.
Andrew Lattaner — who was hired in June to work as PCC's director for its OMIC workforce training center — presented conceptual drawings of the proposed center at the Dec. 16 Scappoose City Council meeting.
Some land preparation for the center has already begun, and its doors are expected to open in spring or winter
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