Yakima, Wash. – The Yakima Valley College and wider Yakima communities joined together on January 7 to celebrate the opening of YVC’s West Campus and the significant, multifaceted benefits the $22.7 million project will bring to the community.
The West Campus project renovated and expanded three existing buildings at the intersection of Nob Hill Boulevard and 16th Avenue to transform them into state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces. The new spaces satisfy many needs — expanded classrooms and labs for YVC’s Allied Health programs, a multi-use conference center, additional exhibition space for the Larson Gallery and a new wine tasting room for YVC’s Teaching Winery – Yakima Valley Vintners.
The virtual event included guest speakers, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a video tour of the new facility. Among those speaking to how West Campus will benefit the Yakima Valley community were YVC President Linda Kaminski, architect Sherry Brockway, contractor Michael Moen, Surgical Technology Instructor Libby McRae, Larson Gallery Director David Lynx, and Vineyard and Winery Technology Instructor Trent Ball. Some highlights are included below.
“This facility represents 49,000 square feet of new space for the college,” stated YVC President Linda Kaminski in her opening remarks. “During the past three years we have engaged our faculty and staff in the design and have watched the extensive renovations and additions to the existing retail buildings resulting in this stunning transformation. We are especially grateful for our amazing architect, Sheri Brockway, and her team at BOR Architecture for designing yet another beautiful, functional and environmentally friendly facility. We are also very grateful for our general contractor Michael Moen of G.H. Moen Construction which constructed most of our buildings and our newest building, Palmer Martin Hall, on the Yakima Campus.”
Surgical Technology Instructor Libby McRae shared how Allied Health faculty worked together to create a space that will prepare students to excel as health care professionals.
“Faculty in Allied Health were really focused on giving the students a real life experiential learning opportunity,” McRae said. “We wanted integrated learning; we wanted an ability to collaborate interdepartmentally so that we could offer them real life simulations. The technology and facilities are current and state of the art and students will be prepared for what they’ll see in the workforce.”
Larson Gallery Director David Lynx highlighted how the new location and features will expand the gallery’s offerings for students and the entire Yakima Valley community.
“This corner that our buildings are on — the corner of 16th and Nob Hill Boulevard — is really a grand entrance to the college,” Lynx said. “Having the Larson Gallery on that corner where people enter the college is a wonderful presence for us and a way to show the community we are here. We are going to be able to get better exhibits from museums and colleges that wouldn’t necessarily borrow them in the past. Since we have a new space that is climate controlled and light controlled it will bring a much better experience for the students here on campus and allow them to see a wide variety of things from all over the world.”
Vineyard and Winery Technology Instructor Trent Ball focused his comments on how the new space will expand learning opportunities for YVC students and provide more well-rounded experiences in the wine industry during their education.
“Now having a real special place on campus and in the community,” Ball said, “will give an opportunity for our students to showcase their passion and skills that they are crafting. One of the greatest challenges is not only making a fantastic wine, but also being able to sell it. This tasting room provides further opportunities for our students to be involved in the marketing, sales, social and entertainment aspect of this industry which is critical.”
A recording of the celebration can be watched on Facebook, YouTube and the YVC website.
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