The new RCC/SOU Higher Education Center in Medford opened its doors for students on Sept. 3.
The new facility is the result of a one-of-a-kind partnership in Oregon, jointly financed, designed and constructed by Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University.
Designed by the Portland-based firm of SERA Architects, the building houses both RCC and SOU classes, easing the student transition from community college to university, while accommodating working professionals pursuing higher education. The contract manager/general contractor was Adroit Construction Co., of Ashland.
The 68,700-square-foot, three-story building includes classrooms, science labs, computer labs, Prometric Testing Center, and Business Center. The Prometric Testing Center is a complete academic and professional facility that offers a full menu of tests, including the Graduate Record Examination, the Certified Public Accountant exam and the Oregon Life Insurance exam. The Business Center integrates RCC and SOU resources to form a one-stop location for workforce training and professional development.
The new RCC/SOU Higher Education Center is a model of environmental stewardship.
"Constructing a building with green priorities was an early goal in the project," said Gregg Sanders, lead architect with SERA Architects. To that end, the project is currently targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum, the highest level of certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Brightworks served as LEED consultant to SERA on the project.
Green design features include use of regional and recycled content materials, FSC Certified wood from sustainably harvested local forests, on-site stormwater detention and drought-tolerant landscaping. Special attention was given to acoustics and the quality of lighting, including daylighting and shading strategies. Innovative strategies include heat wheel energy transfer to pre-heat ventilation air, evaporative cooling, and over 50-percent reduction in water use. Additionally, the RCC/SOU Advisory Committee that oversees development of the center is exploring the possibility of installing solar panels for long-term savings on heating and cooling bills.
For more information on the new RCC/SOU Higher Education Center, visit rcc-sou.org .