Pierce College is reconstructing the deans’ offices and the student center on the Puyallup campus this spring. These updates need to be completed by June 30, the cutoff date for state funding.
The deans’ offices will be relocated from near the entrance of the Gaspard Administration building down the hall to classrooms 162 and 163. The office walls of the current deans’ suite will be removed to create an open atmosphere. This space will transform the student success center where advising, counseling, career connections and workforce programs operate.
“It’s more about creating an open feel for accessibility,” said the President of Pierce Puyallup Dr. Darrell Cain, “and to also provide more support services for students.”
Adjustments to the student service area will allow the EDI CARES department to have a location at the Puyallup campus. Students will now be offered the same services at both Pierce campuses for equity, diversity and inclusion as well as college access, retention, and engagement services. According to the administration, although the new deans’ suite will take up two classrooms, students won’t see a shortage of classes offered.
“It was a matter of playing the scheduling puzzle to figure out where we have spaces,” said Dr. Matthew Campbell, the vice president of learning and student success at Puyallup.
Using the fall 2019 schedule, the administration weighed if subtracting two classrooms from the campus would have an impact on students and the college as a whole. The classes that were held in rooms 162 and 163 were transitional education and college success. Classes held in these rooms will move to other classrooms throughout the campus.
Prior to the renovation plans, the only offices in the previous space were the academic deans’. Now, the student service team and administrative assistants will be integrated into the same area as the deans.
The renovation project will begin after the college selects a bidder’s contract to work with. The Minor Capital Works is a certain amount of money that Washington state allocates to colleges to use for building improvements and repairs. Half of the money for this project is coming from minor works while the other half is coming out of the reserves fund, which is the college’s saving account.
“That can pay for some things that the capital fund can’t pay for because the state restricts what we can spend money on. For example, we can’t buy furniture with the capital fund so we have to use reserve funds for that,” said Jeffrey Schnieder, the director of campus safety and facilities.
The budget for this project is slightly under $1 mil. including both the capital and reserves fund. Students coming to the dean’s suite will now have additional staff available to help them if the person they are looking for isn’t in the room.
“To provide access you want to provide a field that is inviting, a place where you feel you’re accepted,” said President Cain.
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
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