Published Aug 19, 2014
By Ty Beaver, Tri-City Herald
Columbia Basin College is seeking to expand its health care
programs in central Richland with a new four-story building and a $3
million donation from Kadlec Regional Medical Center will aid the
The new building, with an estimated price tag of $16.1
million, would be built kitty-corner from CBC's health sciences center
on Northgate Drive, officials said. The college's board will vote on the
project during a retreat Friday, and, if approved, construction could
begin in a year.
The new building will have two floors dedicated
to Kadlec's new residency program, which begins next year and for which
the hospital will pay a 20-year lease. CBC will use at least one floor
for its health care training programs.
The State Board of
Community and Technical Colleges must sign off on the project. The
college will use two non-voted bonds worth as much as $17 million total
to pay for the bulk of the construction costs, said Bill Saraceno, CBC
vice president of administration.
Construction could take 15 to 16 months. "It depends on how we put the building together," he said.
CBC and hospital officials said their partnership has been beneficial
to each other, they emphasized that this new project will further
bolster the overall health care work force.
"This is really about
the entire region, not just Kadlec," said Kadlec President and CEO Rand
Wortman. "The Tri-Cities is becoming a net exporter of nurses."
health sciences center opened in fall 2006 and Kadlec provided $2
million for that project. The four-story building is home to more than a
dozen programs, such as nursing, phlebotomy and nuclear medicine, and
almost 500 students. Kadlec also maintains offices on the top floor of
"It was full almost immediately," said CBC President Rich Cummins.
and college officials said they have spoken for years about the need
for a second building. Kadlec's merger with Providence Health &
Services, announced two months ago, was partly driven by the hospital's
desire to have capital funding for projects such as this, Wortman said.
CBC paid about $450,000 for the two acres needed for the building
earlier this year.
The retirement of baby boomers and the
implementation of the Affordable Care Act has created a shortage of
nurses and other health care professionals nationwide, college and
hospital officials said.
CBC and Washington State University
Tri-Cities now produce many of the region's nurses, but Mid-Columbia
hospitals were in a similar predicament 14 years ago, Wortman said.
Kadlec was paying $3 million a year above salaries to bring in traveling
nurses to meet the needs of its growing services.
Now Kadlec and
CBC's partnership has led to a more stable and familiar work force for
all the region's hospitals while the college's students benefit from
access to training and internships within the hospital system.
"It's really the essence of a community college," Cummins said.
College also weighs other building project
Basin College's board will vote Friday whether to move forward with
construction on a new 55,000-square-foot building for its language and
social sciences programs.
College officials have sought to build
the new building for years. The State Board of Community and Technical
Colleges approved the $21.5 million project earlier this year, though
the Legislature will need to provide most of the money needed. The
college and CBC Foundation would contribute about $6 million.
building would have 10 classrooms and 16 offices, college documents
stated. It will be on the north end of campus between Saraceno Way and
the CH2M Hill Technology Center.
The departments that will move to
the new building have most of their offices in the L Building, which
also houses CBC's library. They use classrooms throughout the campus. A
central building for the departments would give professors the space
they need and to spend less time getting to classes, officials have
Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2015.
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