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CGCC campus design favors Mt. Adams view

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

May 17, 2006

The community team working on the design for the new college campus in Hood River wants a Mount Adams view.

The 27-member group met Friday to offer feedback to architects from the DLR Group on the next step in the process for the new campus of Columbia Gorge Community College in Hood River.

“After being on the site numerous times and walking the site, I can’t tell you how well this is going to fit,” said Mike Schend, with Hood River County School District’s Community Education. “The topography of the area, it’s sloped … this building is really going to take advantage of that, make it a park-like setting.”

Schend called the potential view of Mount Adams from the campus “a picture-perfect postcard view.”

The group had initially come up with three separate views titled Adams View, Creek-n-Peak, and Learning Curve.

Of the three, Adams View and Creek-n-Peak were the most similar. These concept designs included orientation to Mount Adams, future expansion, and outdoor learning environments.

The Learning Curve design was the only two-story option incorporating a curved shape with a 270-degree view.

The college’s facility services director, Dennis Whitehouse, echoed Schend that the group’s input focused on the view of the mountain.

“I would say yes, they favored more of a combined view based on the comments about Adam’s View and Creek-n-Peak,” he said. “I think there were more elements from the two that were more traditional than the other.”

The site lies adjacent to Indian Creek, off of 12th Street in Hood River. Its location near a sensitive wetland area presents some design challenges but also potential for the college. Hood River Middle School Principal Bob Dais represented the school district on the design team. He felt the campus location would aid educators.

“The goal was to take advantage of the view and creek,” Dais said. “The setting provides the potential for outdoor classrooms … it will provide a needed resource to the community, children and adults alike.”

The architects will combine the aspects from the three views into one design that will be presented to the college board June 12. Whitehouse said the design goes before the community during a May 25 neighborhood meeting at the armory in Hood River.

“We sent out letters to all the people living within 100 yards of the site,” Whitehouse said.

The college purchased the 13.5 acre site in the fall of 2005 following a search that reviewed 11 sites in Hood River during the past five years. Voters approved a $18.5 million construction and renovation bond for the college in 2004. The Hood River campus is one of the many projects covered by the bond.

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