By Marissa Woltanski
RCC voted in September to purchase the building on the corner of 8th and Front Street in Medford that currently houses RCC’s F Building and Mattress Land, according to Chief Financial Officer and Dean of College Services Lynda Warren.
The building was purchased for $1.45 million using money from the $24 million Jackson County bond measure in 2004. Money from that measure can only be used for the purchase, construction and remodeling of RCC buildings.
According to Warren, it will cost an additional $1-2 million to remodel the space.
“Three things for sure are going into the newly acquired building,” Warren said. “A theater space, additional health, physical education and recreation – and possibly a multi-cultural center.”
John Cole, a theater and communications instructor at RCC, is very excited by the prospect of a new theater space. In previous years, Cole has produced plays in the relatively small H Building with largely student casts on a stage he nicknamed The Warehouse.
“We are all extremely excited about The New Warehouse,” Cole said. “It’ll be cool. Plus it’s funky. It has rough-hewn, open-beamed ceilings, brick, plenty of height for lights, and we’re sure it’ll have great curb appeal.”
In the past, RCC’s theater program had to share H Building with health and PE classes. But now, Cole said “music, theater, and H/PE/R, all get their own sandbox to play in.”
The theater program is currently on hiatus while H Building undergoes remodeling. H Building will be turned into an expanded bookstore to meet the needs of RCC’s growing student population.
According to Warren, the building is still currently in escrow and will not officially be RCC’s until November 30. At that time, RCC will begin accepting bids from contractors for the remodel.
“Students can expect to see work beginning sometime in winter, and the building will likely be completed by fall of 2010” says Warren.
“Things are still up in the air in terms of planning, but it’s all very exiting,” Warren said.