A health education center, a downtown performing arts space and a technical education center are among the additional facilities Pikes Peak Community College plans to open this year to meet growing workforce education needs.
“With the purchase of the PPCC Health Education Center, the expansion of the Downtown Studio Campus and our additional classroom spaces at other locations, PPCC is poised to make an even larger impact in our community,” PPCC President Lance Bolton said. “This represents our college’s most significant growth since we opened the Rampart Range Campus in 1998.”
The college plans to invest about $10 million in the PPCC Health Education Center, a 68,800-square-foot building located at 1850 Cypress Semi Drive in north Colorado Springs.
The college paid $5.5 million to purchase the building and will spend $4.3 million to renovate it.
The building, about a mile north of PPCC’s Rampart Range Campus, will house the region’s first interdisciplinary simulation lab, which will greatly reduce the need for the clinical work required in PPCC’s nursing and other health care programs.
Health care employers will be able to access the simulation lab to provide continuing education to their employees who require it.
The building will house the college’s two- and four-year nursing, surgical technology, pharmacy tech, surgical tech, EMS, dental assisting and medical assisting programs.
The college also will expand into a 10,000-square-foot building at 22 N. Sierra Madre St., across the street and west of the Downtown Studio campus, to create a performing arts space to be called Studio West.
The building will house a black box theater, dance rehearsal and performance space and an expanded art gallery. Studio West will be part of the thriving downtown arts scene, a designated Creative District, just a couple of blocks north of the Olympic Museum.
PPCC formerly leased the building to Borealis Fat Bikes, which has moved to 1050 S. Academy Blvd., Suite 144.
The college also will be leasing a 26,000-square-foot building at 850 Aeroplaza Drive, which will become the Technical Education Center.
PPCC’s Welding Training Center has been at this location since 2015. In addition, it will house advanced manufacturing programs including robotics, machining, 3-D printing, CAD, electronics and construction. The new facility will allow for the expansion of other career and technical programs at the Centennial Campus.
PPCC also is leasing space at the Catalyst Campus Cyber Range, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave., to teach non-credit cybersecurity prep courses in new secure labs.
These Network+ and Security+ certification classes prepare working professionals to take the industry certification exams. Classes are taught by advanced certified and currently working IT professionals.
Thanks to a series of grants, PPCC will be moving part of its paramedic program, a substantial portion of the Emergency Medical Technician program, and non-credit paramedic programs to the UCHealth Community Education Center at 175 S. Union Blvd.
The move will be immediate, with classes offered at CEC this semester.