Class may feel a lot like the set of Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs this fall in the new Bonnie J. Ford Health, Nursing & Science Center which celebrated its grand opening today. The $17 million 35,000 square foot center replaces UCC’s 50-year-old science building with state-of-the art labs, classrooms, offices, conference spaces and a Medical Legal Resolutions Center where professionals can come together to resolve medical treatment issues traditionally resolved through litigation.

The building, designed by Opsis Architecture of Portland to blend in with UCC’s existing infrastructure and built by Anderson Construction Company, came in under budget and before deadline. Construction began June 2015 under the leadership of project coordinator Lee Paterson and a community oversight committee.

The state awarded $8.5 million to UCC for the project, and the remaining $8.5 million was raised locally by donor gifts, pledges and borrowing. UCC accumulated a total of $17 million in funding for this project. Deb Thatcher, UCC’s president, believes that this new building will cause an insurgence of students to know what it’s like to work in a real world environment. Thatcher said in the ribbon cutting ceremony that people started to tell her stories about their children, people they knew, or even siblings who had attended the college as soon as they found out she was the new president.

“We all should be proud to live in Douglas County and feel confident that any student coming to UCC is going to get a world class education,” Thatcher said.
The Bonnie J. Ford Health, Nursing & Science Center will provide the science and nursing students some room to spread their wings with 10 additional labs and classrooms as well as multiple meeting spaces and open meeting areas.

The new building helps UCC with its capacity issues; the campus design has been anywhere from 55 to 89 percent over capacity in recent years in a community where over two-thirds of all Douglas County adults older than 18 annually participate in a UCC class, event or activity.