Signs of a growing economy are evident at Tacoma Community College as a new construction project begins to take shape on its campus. By the summer of 2014 the Harned Center for Health Careers will house training programs for Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, Respirator Therapists, Registered Nurses, and Health Information Managers. It is estimated more than 17,000 students will use this 70,000 sq ft building over the next two decades. This program is designed to help meet the growing demand for health care professionals in the south Puget Sound Region. Both local health care employers and students seeking careers in this field will benefit from this comprehensive training opportunity.
The $18-million construction contract was awarded to Berschauer Phillips Construction of Olympia, which has assembled a team of sub-contractors, many from the South Sound area. These contractors include Coastal Steel of Graham; Shea-Carr-Jewell of Olympia for planning and engineering; Site Development, Inc. of Lakewood; J. Scott Concrete, Lakewood; Westmark Products, Tacoma; Todd Robinson Painting, Inc. Tumwater; Commercial Insulation Services, Tumwater; WAH, Tacoma; and Tacoma’s Abbey Carpet & Floor.
According to Berschauer Phillips Project Manager Mike Rogers, the total of the wages paid to mostly area workers will amount to about $5 million by the time the building is completed. Rogers says his company is pleased to play a role in the creation of a facility that will help meet the training needs of students who are pursuing such important careers. Coastal Steel CEO Steve Price added that most of the $350,000 bid for steel erection will cover wages for the ironworkers employed to construct the four-story building. It is estimated that, upon completion, over 1,800 students, faculty, and staff will occupy the building on a daily basis.
Tacoma Community College President Pamela Transue says the new Harned Center for Health Careers “will offer a smart use of space and cutting edge clinical simulation technology to create an ideal learning environment. This building will assist us in preparing students for high demand professions and will advance the opportunity for students to gain family wage jobs--not to mention that Tacoma and the South Sound region will benefit from the increasing numbers of highly skilled health care professionals that TCC will produce.”