The lasting impact and growing history of Pierce College Puyallup.
Pierce College Puyallup has provided the opportunity for students to pursue higher education for nearly 30 years. Established in 1990 as an expansion of the Fort Steilacoom campus, Pierce College Puyallup has been around long before its official campus came to be.
Pierce was housed in an old real estate office during the late ‘70s and ‘80s. It served primarily as an evening program, providing students with associate degrees and offering general education courses and developmental courses at local schools.
Pierce officially opened its first building in 1990, the Gaspard Administration Building. For the first six years, all college functions were held in Gaspard. The Brouillet Library Science building opened in 1996, providing more space for classes.
Pierce College Puyallup had gone from an extension of the Fort Steilacoom campus to a recognized community college by 1999. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges acknowledged Pierce College Puyallup as the 34th community college in the state.
The next 10 years were dedicated to expanding the campus with the College Center Building, Garnero Child Development Center, and the Arts and Allied Health Building.
Pierce College Chancellor and CEO Michele Johnson said that even after the AAH building was created in 2011, the campus had almost outgrown itself. Johnson said, “As soon as [the AAH building] opened, we were already still struggling for space.”
According to Johnson, Pierce College Puyallup may potentially face another expansion in the coming years with a new STEM building, housing the science facilities within 70,000 square feet. Johnson won’t know more until the legislative session in July 2019.
“The best-case scenario, in four years it would be built and ready to be open,” Johnson said. “But it is probably going to be closer to the five or six year mark that we are going to be actually building and moving in.” With the STEM building’s construction on the horizon, the growth of Pierce College isn’t ending anytime soon.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost
Eleise Ashley is returning to the Puyallup Post as a Senior Reporter for the 2018-2019 year. Ashley is a first generation college student who started reporting for the Puyallup Post in early 2018, her second year at Pierce.Now she is in her third and last year at Pierce, Ashley hopes to provide high quality news for her readers and help her fellow reporters in anyway she can. When she is not in class or writing for the newspaper, she can be found reading a book off her ever-growing "must read" list or watching Netflix.