OC breaks ground on new building

Olympic College broke ground May 8 on an 83,000-square-foot humanities and student services building for its Bremerton campus — a facility college officials expect to enhance the educational experience of both its students and staff.

“This truly is a monumental day for Olympic College,” OC president David Mitchell said, speaking to a crowd of local and state officials on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Funded by $3.5 million from the 2005 Washington State Legislature for the design, with the remaining $25 million for construction coming from the 2007 legislature, the building is expected to be completed in 18 to 20 months.

It will join the recently built science-technology building — opened in 2007 — as only the second new instructional building constructed on the campus in the past 40 years.

Described as “state-of-the-art” by 23rd District state Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) the building will offer technology classrooms, faculty offices, lecture rooms and halls, tutoring centers and instructional program labs, among other amenities.

“We will stand together to enhance your future and our future, collectively,” Rockefeller said, referring to the Legislature’s commitment to education in Kitsap County.

“This is the only game in town, as far as higher education is concerned,” he said.

Centrally located on campus, the building figures to concentrate student service activity as well as provide the humanities department with new classrooms and learning tools.

The humanities department had been housed in a building constructed in 1959 — one originally designed to be an elementary school.

Citing the work of the community to make the project possible, and OC’s standing as one of Bremerton’s prominent locations, Mitchell said the building will serve both students and community members.

“This will be the community’s building,” he said.

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