Columbia Gorge CC | Workforce Center

The Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Workforce Center was designed as a complement to the new Oregon Military Department Readiness Center. The existing site was divided in half by an impressive level change. To take advantage of this inherent site feature and address programmatic requirements that necessitated physical separation between OMD and CGCC, the main structure housing OMD was located at the site’s high point, while the CGCC was nestled at the hill’s base.

Being closely aligned with the existing CGCC site, the lower parking areas are accessible for both college functions and OMD events. The parking area was designed as a bore field that services ground source heat pumps, facilitating higher energy savings. Additionally, the slope of the roof to the south was ideal for utilizing photovoltaics as an energy generator, and, given the College’s focus on green technologies, the units can be used as a learning lab.

Intended to provide training in electronic and industrial arts for students returning to higher education in search of a second vocation, the CGCC Workforce Center contains classrooms, computer and electronics labs, and private offices for faculty. The school is organized around a central hall, which is naturally illuminated by large skylights and furnished with soft lounge seating—perfect for informal gatherings. At the end of the hall is a fireplace and oversized hearth. A separate building houses both a welding, mechanics, and automotive shop.