RCC planning on closing 3 buildings at Riverside Campus in downtown Medford

DOWNTOWN MEDFORD, Ore. — RCC President, Cathy Kemper-Pelle, says the college is planning on closing its Riverside Campus buildings A, C, and G.

It’s also closing two buildings in Grants Pass.

“This is part of a long-range plan to cut costs so that we can keep college affordable,” said Kemper-Pelle.

Kemper-Pelle says a ‘Facilities Use and Conditions Study’ conducted in 2019 determined many of Rogue Community College’s buildings weren’t being used to full capacity.

The school is now in the process of selling or leasing 3 of its Riverside Campus buildings in downtown Medford, in the hopes of saving money amidst the pandemic and lower enrollment rates.

Enrollment was down 27% in the winter term and is down 18% this spring.

“We’re expecting the one-time federal money that’s helping us out temporarily in this biennium, won’t be here for the next biennium.”

The sale of the campus buildings will not affect any courses or programs.

She says programs in the closing buildings will relocate to the Table Rock and Redwood campuses in White City and Grants Pass.

“We will maintain the B Building in downtown Medford and that’s where we’ll have advising, counseling, etc,” said the school’s president.

Kemper-Pelle says the move will not affect the RCC/SOU Higher Learning Center.

She says students concerned with a longer commute have options.

“Fortunately, RVTD provides excellent transportation to the table rock campus and we literally have a bus stop right in front of the college,” said Kemper-Pelle.

She adds that students also have more parking opportunities at the other campuses, and won’t have to worry about city parking fees.

She says most of RCC’s enrollment is in the school’s health programs, but those programs have already moved to White City.

“It’s going to take a while to build those enrollments back and we need to do that in a way where we’re channeling our resources into students and not buildings.”

The school’s president believes enrollment will increase as in-person learning returns to campus.

Earlier this month, RCC broke ground on its new Redwood Campus Science Center.

The $8,000,000 project has been in the works since 2018.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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