Chemeketa Community College Agriculture Complex

The site plan for the new Chemeketa Community College Agriculture Complex.

Final design phase for Chemeketa Community College’s new Agriculture Complex is wrapping up. Construction for the complex is expected to begin this summer.

The Agriculture Complex will be a result of Chemeketa Community College’s dedication in continuing to serve the region’s farm and nursery communities. State investment of $6 million in matching funds is making start-up for this $12 million project possible. Additional support is still needed, although the complex is expected to open winter 2021. The complex will expand classes and facilities for Chemeketa’s current Agriculture programs as well as provide flexible learning spaces dedicated to Agriculture Innovation.

Agriculture is changing and Chemeketa is committed to creating and supporting an environment that explores and demonstrates these changes. In addition to new facilities, Chemeketa is working closely with Marion County and other leaders to best determine what drives Agriculture Innovation and how our community college, and new Agriculture Complex, can best support these drivers.

From the beginning, the goal of this project has been to create a hub that will serve Agriculture in the Mid-Willamette Valley. The new complex will have both indoor and outdoor gathering and learning spaces. Key features of the Complex will include:

• Shared spaces and resources for partners, programs and community.

• A commercial greenhouse.

• Woody ornamental, pollinator, and soil labs.

• An Outdoor pavilion and amphitheater.

• Demonstration gardens and plant collections.

• Hoop houses.

• Organic vegetable gardens.

• Farmland plots.

• Stormwater management demos.

Agriculture education and workforce needs is a priority for Chemeketa’s service district of Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties. The design process for the complex continues to be advised by a large community group consisting of county, city and industry leaders.

“We’ll be reaching out to additional industry leaders to help us find the remaining support needed,” says Jessica Sandrock, Director of Agriculture Sciences. “Currently, an additional $1.5 million is needed to complete the project to its full potential.” To learn how to support the project contact Jessica Sandrock at Jessica.sandrock@chemeketa.edu.

Groundbreaking for the Complex will be on June 11 at 4 p.m. at the intersection of 45th Avenue and Fire Protection Way on the Salem Campus. This event is open to the public and anyone can RSVP at ag@chemeketa.edu.

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