The Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Cascade Building is unique in the community and technical college system. It provides spaces for administration and operations, student culture, and instructional programs that represent 52% of the entire campus. Because of the size, the Cascade Building necessitated a phased renovation approach to bring it up-to-date with the high-quality academic offerings by the institution.
The Cascade Building is 247,000 SF on five levels with the renovation planned for three phases. Phase 3 includes renovation of the Cascade Building level one for the Emergency Medical Services program and construction of a new two-story building for Dental Hygiene and Veterinary Technology whose space requirements have grown and exceeded the capacity within their existing space for effective and meaningful program delivery. Most importantly, spatial expansion is crucial to meet the updated programmatic and accreditation requirements. The project also addresses site improvements: improving accessibility in parking lots, restoring the native Garry Oak tree ecosystem, and creating safer pedestrian pathways for students while connecting the network to the adjacent Waughop Lake for the community.
The new approximately 36,000 SF building will house Veterinary Technology on level one and the Dental Hygiene on level two. The veterinary space will have expanded lab spaces and animal facilities to provide high-quality education and training for the Veterinary Technology program. The animals will have appropriately sized and healthy living spaces. The Dental Hygiene Clinic will have an efficient, professional, and safe layout to provide services to the community and training for the students. The Cascade Building level one, approximately 20,000 SF, will be renovated for the Emergency Medical Services program to operate and grow. It will also provide new flexible learning spaces and additional classrooms along with a new Microbiology/AP Lab for general campus use.
Construction was planned to occur in two phases to maintain program operations and minimize impacts on educational programs on campus. Construction of the new building, now named Glacier, was recently completed and the renovation of the Cascade Building will follow. It is planned for completion in the winter of 2023 with occupancy planned for spring quarter of 2023.