College continues to seek new land

SPSCC passed a resolution to continue negotiations to purchase new land in the northeastern part of Thurston County on June 8. This area is the fastest growing portion of the county.

Vice President of Administrative Services Nancy Mckinney presented the resolution at the SPSCC Board of Trustees meeting on June 8. After Mckinney’s presentation and discussion from the board, the trustees voted unanimously to continue pursuing a contract to build land with a building on Sixth Avenue in Lacey.

The new location is part of the Rowe Six complex. Five buildings sit on the approximately eight acres of land and make up 100,000 square feet of space.

According to Mckinney, SPSCC will use the largest building but possibly not the other buildings.

The Department of Enterprise Services acts as the real estate agent for the college as determined by the state.

The college needs to receive approval from the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges as well as the State Capital Committee to continue with the negotiations. According to Mckinney, amenities are included in the new location.

Mckinney said one of the reasons to expand was the lack of parking availability at the main campus. The new location allows for ample parking. The new campus location also sits close to the Intercity Transit Center in Lacey.

According to Mckinney, a new location gives the college a convenient opportunity to test new degree and certificate programs to meet changing student needs. Mckinney said SPSCC is moving towards becoming more of a multi-campus institution, and opening the new Lacey campus is an important step in this process.

The facility will undergo a condition exam to determine the condition of the structure. Further necessary construction and renovation projects will come from the condition exam. After the condition exam, a period of approximately a year and a half would be needed to determine further construction and renovation projects required.

According to Mckinney, market surveys allowed SPSCC to gather the information that a campus closer to Lacey and Yelm residents was needed to serve the growing number of potential students living farther away from the main campus. She said SPSCC hopes to begin classes at the new location in time for the lease at the current Hawks Prairie to run out in June 2015.

Although SPSCC already owns land at another location in Lacey, no buildings sit on this piece of land.

According to Mckinney, funding the construction of new buildings is not realistic in the near future for the college. The college would need state funding, which it couldn’t expect for another 10 to 15 years, said Mckinney.