After closing in March 2020, South Puget Sound Community College’s full-service, urban Lacey Campus has finally reopened. With its centralized location near transit, libraries, shopping and dining, it provides yet another amazing opportunity for students and life-long learners of all ages and steps on their educational journey.
SPSCC has Core Themes built to support their mission and serves 4,000 credit-seeking students annually. They continue to rank as one of the 10 best community colleges and reopening their second location is one way to honor that longstanding commitment.
College in Lacey Equals More Options
Amy Warren is the dean of Workforce Education and Food and Beverage Arts. She describes her role as “ensuring the professional technical programs offered by the college are meeting the needs of the local employers by producing graduates that are prepared for employment.” Warren also manages SPSCC’s Perkins and Worker Retraining plans and oversees the Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, and Craft Brewing and Distilling programs.
She’s excited to welcome students back to the Lacey Campus. “It gives students more options on where to take classes,” she says. The Lacey Campus is often more accessible to people living in Lacey and Yelm because it’s closer in proximity and doesn’t require a downtown Olympia bus transfer like trips to the college’s Olympia Campus. Warren reminds everyone that students should check their registration information when choosing classes to see what will be offered in Lacey for Winter 2023 and avoid location mix-ups.
Unique to the college in Lacey are two professional technical programs, Machining Technologies and Architecture, Engineering and Construction Technology, housed in building three. “In addition,” says Warren, “we are offering related instruction courses in building one. These classes support students pursuing degrees in all 10 of our pathways. Our One Stop is reopened as of Fall 2022. Here students can access many of the student services such as registration, advising and cashiering.”
Community Enrichment and Professional Skill Building
SPSCC isn’t just for those fresh out of high school either. Noel Rubadue, dean for Corporate and Continuing Education at the Lacey Campus, oversees Community Education, Professional Development Training, Technical Training, Corporate Consulting, the Small Business Development Center and Tribal Programming.
“Having people back in our building and delivering training face to face has reminded us all how powerful coming together to learn can be,” says Rubadue. “Virtual learning has given us the ability to serve people that couldn’t come to face-to-face classes or have barriers getting to our space, so we are going to continue to make sure to serve them as we move forward. But there are some classes that just don’t have the same impact online as they have in person, and we are excited to be able to hold them again.”
Rubadue’s oversight primarily applies to community members wanting to take a non-credit course for enjoyment or working professionals looking to upgrade their skills or compete for a promotion. With this in mind, sharing space with the Small Business Development Center offers zero-cost business advising services through a grant funded by SBA and SPSCC, she explains. “We are co-located with the Thurston Economic Development Center which means we have a one stop model to serve the small businesses in our community through the Center for Business and Innovation.”
South Puget Sound Community College Is a Place for Activities, Concerts and Events
Events manager Sam Kreiger enjoys being able to provide facility rental spaces across all SPSCC locations. Kreiger says that though things closed in 2020 during the pandemic, they opened to external and outdoor events on a limited basis in 2021. Now, they’re back to regularly hosting all types of community events and activities.
SPSCC sites aren’t just perfect for lecture- or gallery-style use, says Kreiger. “The Lacey Campus houses our TwinStar Community Foundation Event Center, in which we can hold banquet events up to 300 people. We have returned to doing large and small events in this facility.” It consists of three large banquet rooms with up to 96 people per room, or 310 combined, for banquets, retreats, fundraisers and multi-day trainings or seminars.
“Each community college in the state is designed to serve the community in which they are located,” says Rubadue. “But what makes us different is this co-location that allows us to customize our programs and services to match the real needs of our community. We are constantly changing and looking for what the next need is we can help fill.”
To rent space at either SPSCC campus location, reach out to the Facility Rentals team at 360.596.5333 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss dates and availability. You can reach the Lacey Campus directly by calling 360.709.2000 or swing by 4220 6th Avenue SE in person. With two campuses and caring faculty and staff, lifelong learning has never been easier, thanks to SPSCC’s ongoing dedication to Thurston County’s students.