On Wednesday, El Paso Community College unveiled the $32 million EPCC Rio Grande Academic Facility and Parking Garage set to be built at 919 Oregon Street in Downtown El Paso.
The single-level parking lot will become a multi-use, 7-story building with academic spaces and a parking garage, using double helix angle parking to accommodate the most parking possible.
Officials say, “The uniqueness of the Rio Grande Campus, in comparison to other El Paso Community College campuses, is that it is the only campus in an urban setting and sits within neighboring historic areas and neighborhood associations. Remaining wall stones from a historic home site will be accommodated into the structure.”
A state-of-the-art Simulation Suite will cater to health professions programs such as nursing, EMT, phlebotomy, radiology, and physical therapy. This building also allows EPCC to create a new Associate of Applied Science program in echocardiography. The campus will promote interactive, interdisciplinary learning strategies.
The skills lab, which will replicate real-life facilities and hospital spaces, will help ensure that the graduates are job-ready. The 400-space parking garage will alleviate the lack of parking on the campus and currently results in students parking throughout the neighborhood streets.
The final design, by Parkhill, Smith & Cooper (PSC), incorporates intriguing character reflecting the Sunset Heights neighborhood, with a landscaped pedestrian plaza that provides a social gathering space that also connects the campus to various campus buildings on the western side.
“This facility is addressing various campus challenges, such as lack of parking and academic spaces,” said Mary Stills, Senior Associate / Architect at PSC. She was the architect and project manager. “The building represents the investment that EPCC is making in the students to educate them and prepare them in real-world scenarios so they can be career-ready. It’s a privilege to design a building that will be utilized to its maximum potential for years to come.”
Construction is planned to be finished by the summer of 2020.