Friday marked the initial “conceptual design” phase of the Centennial Facilities Master Plan when stakeholders had the opportunity to help create the vision for a new and improved PCC that would provide students with the facilities they need to be better prepared for the future.

PCC President Mark Rocha laid out the five principles of safety, sustainability, light equity, active learning and creating a conducive environment for community, an approach he hopes stakeholders will incorporate into the brainstorming process as they come together to create this vision for a new PCC. He also emphasized that the work they do must create a vision that will last long after they are gone and capture the founder’s original vision of a glorious institution while still looking toward the future.

“The work we’re doing here today… is significant work,” he said.

Attendees were invited to discuss some of the concerns they may have and the challenges and opportunities the campus faces. The most common themes involved reaching out to the community by partnering up with local businesses, creating more open spaces that provide a more comfortable learning environment, more use of cutting edge technology and utilizing the buildings the school does have to their fullest capabilities.

Cynthia Olivo, interim associate vice president of Student Affairs, said what she heard was a need for an environment that would allow for more active learning and provide faculty and students the opportunity to connect with one another “while also paying attention to our environmental footprint and tending to the needs of the students in our large service area through satellite Campuses and Outreach and Recruitment Centers located in the community.”

Joe Simoneschi, executive director of Business Services, facilitated a group discussing the topic of degree certificate programs that address marketplace needs. Olivo and others discussed the need for providing students with more marketable skills with the use of more “high-tech, high-touch” technology and reaching out to the regional and global marketplace. They were also adamant that not matter how far technology comes, teachers should remain a vital part of the learning process and students still want that interaction with teachers.

That last part of the workshop allowed the attendees to break up into three groups and interact with the three architect firms who are competing to help bring the school’s vision to life. AC Martin had groups discuss some of the things they liked and did not like in the campus. HJ and Gensler were more interactive as they provided a visual models of the campus and had stakeholders pinpoint areas of improvement. Gensler laid out a map of the school and had stakeholders write down their suggestions on sticky notes and place it on the exact areas they wanted to see improvement on or keep the same.

The feedback from stakeholders will give the firms ideas for a conceptual model for a new campus that they will share some time in April, when one firm will be chosen to execute the school’s vision.

“The successful architect company will have been inspired by what they heard at the visioning session and will build a PCC to serve students generations into the future,” Olivo said.

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