Yakima Valley College hosts virtual grand opening for West Campus project

Yakima, WAYakima Valley College is excited to announce the completion of the West Campus project on the Yakima Campus. The $22.7 million project first began in the fall of 2017 when the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges approved YVC’s plan to acquire property adjacent to the Yakima Campus. A virtual grand opening celebration on January 7, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. will be live-streamed via Facebook, YouTube and the YVC Website.

Since the purchase of the property at the intersection of Nob Hill Boulevard and 16th Avenue, the project has renovated and expanded the existing buildings to transform them into state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces. The new spaces satisfy many needs — a new facility for YVC’s Allied Health programs, a new conference center, an expanded exhibition space for the Larson Gallery and a new wine tasting room for YVC’s Teaching Winery – Yakima Valley Vintners. The expansion also creates more parking for students and staff.

The classroom spaces include a mock hospital setup and provide a much-needed new home for YVC’s Allied Health technical programs. Those programs — Surgical Technology, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing & Coding and Phlebotomy — have for many years shared a small classroom and lab space. The new facility allows for dedicated areas for each program that have never been possible in the past.

“Learning that takes place in a simulated environment must be true to life. That is what the new West Campus Allied Health building will do for YVC students,” stated Surgical Technology Instructor Libby McRae. “With a space to match our faculty’s instructional expertise, YVC students will learn in an environment that prepares them for excellence working as Yakima Valley’s healthcare providers.”

The new exhibition space for the Larson Gallery was designed and built with the public in mind. The new space includes free parking right in front of the gallery, public restrooms, a gift shop and access to the college’s new outdoor sculpture garden.

“The new Larson Gallery space is equipped with modern museum standards and will allow us the capacity to show exhibits we could not in the old space,” stated Larson Gallery Director David Lynx. “Its convenient access will create a better experience for students and the community.”

Another exciting new addition will be the wine tasting room and educational display space for YVC’s Vineyard and Winery Technology program, which began on the Grandview Campus in 2007. The program provides hands-on training in a teaching winery where students learn all aspects of the wine-making process — from grape to glass. The tasting room’s new location directly adjacent to the Larson Gallery’s exhibition space promises to be beneficial for each.

“For more than a decade YVC student winemakers have been crafting award-winning wines while completing their Vineyard & Winery Technology degree. We are so excited that there is now a venue in Yakima to highlight the students’ handiwork,” stated Vineyard and Winery Technology Instructor Trent Ball. “This tasting room will be a place to get fantastic wines, enjoy art and music, and learn about the careers and educational opportunities in the grape and wine industry.”

The conference space expands the ability for YVC to host large campus meetings and events on campus. The new facility includes a main conference room which can accommodate groups as large as 500 people. The facility also includes smaller conference rooms as well as office space for Yakima Rotary Trust and all the Yakima Rotary clubs, Downtown, Southwest and Sunrise.

“This project has been a great opportunity for YVC to expand capacity in our Allied Health programs, raise awareness of our viticulture and enology programs, as well as build on our community partnerships,” stated Vice President of Administrative Services Teresa Rich. “The realization of this project could not have happened without the vision and support from the entire community.”

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu