The Higher Education Center is a joint ownership project with Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College. The initial pre-design study demonstrated that a shared facility would be approximately 30% more cost-efficient than a stand-alone building. The new building sets a precedent in Oregon for co-locating a 2-year and 4-year institution and is the first building in the Oregon University System to achieve LEED platinum certification.
The 68,700 SF building is designed to replace poorly adapted existing buildings, previously leased by the two institutions. The combined building houses 28 general classrooms, 3 computer labs, a tiered presentation hall, a large lecture hall, 2 biology/chemistry labs, 1 physics lab and faculty offices. The plan is configured around a central three-story atrium, with a student lounge and coffee bar in the first floor. In addition to student outreach, the building is designed to connect with the Medford downtown business community by incorporating a Business Resource Center. The joint-use building is seen by the community and the institutions as a catalyst for downtown development and a significant anchor to the downtown Education Core, which includes RCC Riverside campus and Medford Public Library.
Joint venture with SERA Architects