With Friday's official dedication and open house, the community finally can celebrate a dream come true: a real home for Southwestern Oregon Community College in Curry County.
This moment marks both the end to a very long process, and a beginning to what surely will be a success story.
The up-and-down struggles to find the resources to build the new campus go back much more than 15 years. Key milestones have included the initial voter approval in 1995 to join the college district, donation of a building site by U.S. Borax, funding decisions by the college board and Oregon Legislature, and finally several private donations to help finish up the project. (Those include a donation by the Chandler Foundation on behalf of the Curry Coastal Pilot.)
Each of those chapters has included its own dramatic story line, some of which took years to play out.
But no matter: When the new Curry Campus officially opened for classes earlier this month, it was clear that it is part of a new future for the area. College officials now have the tools they need to serve the community.
An impressive lab for teaching health careers is aimed at employment predictions for the region. The science lab is both state of the art and a work of art. Every classroom has wireless digital access to the rest of the world. An multi-purpose art classroom can serve the community's interests. Student services abound, from a small bookstore to outdoor patio, from study areas to resource room. A conference area is sure to make the Curry Campus a gathering point for small groups and conventions.
Students are already making the choice to study at the Curry Campus. The numbers are certain to grow from this term forward.
The community should be celebrating this moment, and everyone involved deserves congratulations.