Clark College at Boschma Farms

At the construction site for Clark College at Boschma Farms, Oswald the Penguin arrived in style—riding in the back of a white Tesla hatchback, his penguin feet dangling, and his penguin arms waving to the crowd. 

Then he stepped down from the car and led the crowd to kick off the “topping out” ceremony at the Advanced Manufacturing Center, the first building being constructed at Clark’s new site located on 10 acres just east of the Ridgefield Junction at Interstate 5. Clark College in collaboration with developer and design-builder, Mortenson, hosted the ceremony on November 2. The event celebrated the structure reaching its full height.  

Guests had an opportunity to use gold or silver Sharpies to write their name and a message on a long steel beam temporarily suspended a few feet above the ground. The beam was painted Clark College blue and was topped with an American flag and a live, potted evergreen tree symbolizing persistence, prosperity and longevity.  

Then the crowd gathered under a large canopy to hear Clark College and Mortenson leaders speak about the importance of the project.  

Dr. Karin Edwards, president of Clark College said, “Just five months ago, we stood in this same place—and it was an empty field and an excavator.” She added, “The Advanced Manufacturing Center will enable future students with innovative training for careers in the manufacturing trades while also providing programs accessible to Ridgefield and the communities in north County. Our vision is for this progressive instructional center to serve our growing region and the critical workforce needs including advanced manufacturing.”  

Cristhian Canseco Juarez, chair of the Clark College Board of Trustees, said, “This Advanced Manufacturing Center not only stands as a testament to the college’s commitment to innovation and growth but also underscores our dedication to our community needs and providing the local industry with highly skilled workers.”  

Clark College/Kevin Damore

After all guests had signed their names, a boom truck with a 50-foot mast began slowly hoisting the beam to the top of the structure. Meanwhile, four Mortenson ironworkers rode scissorlifts to the top of the structure, where they attached their safety harnesses. Then they guided the beam into place and secured it with spud wrenches and hefty bolts.  

The crowd clapped and whooped appreciatively.  

In less than two years, the Advanced Manufacturing Center will greet its first cohort of students. When it opens in the Fall of 2025, the Advanced Manufacturing Center will provide initial enrollment of 32 students in two cohorts of 16, with plans to eventually serve 48 students across three cohorts. In addition, this Clark building will also provide five general education classes with a computer lab that will have the capacity to serve up to 1,200 students per term. 

Clark College/Maureen Chan-Hefflin

About the Advanced Manufacturing Center 

Designed to accommodate a multitude of both instructional and community needs, the Advanced Manufacturing Center will be adaptable for future growth. Manufacturing and classroom spaces will be designed for multiple delivery modes including lecture, collaborative, project-based learning, and hybrid models implementing online content and classroom application. The facility’s acoustic design will ensure that unamplified voice communication will carry above ambient machine noise.  

A noteworthy aspect of the project’s construction is the building’s prefabricated exterior walls which will soon be installed by the Vancouver-based team from contractor and fabricator, Western Partitions, Inc. The progressive design-build construction delivery method, spearheaded by Mortenson and in collaboration with Henneberry Eddy Architects, are instrumental to the successful implementation of the use of prefabrication in this project and its resulting efficiencies.   

“As we mark this critical milestone and reflect on the 155 days and roughly 19,000 hours of injury-free work, we underscore our commitment to timeliness and safety,” said Mike Dickey, senior project manager of Mortenson.  “I stand proud of everyone who has contributed to this project and extend a heartfelt thanks for a job well done.” 

On track to be a LEED Silver certified building, the Advanced Manufacturing Center will meet state energy performance standards, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve operational efficiencies. 

Advanced Manufacturing Center by the numbers 

Projected completion: Late 2024 

First classes to begin: Fall 2025 

Building size: 49,000 square feet 

  • 3 industry-specific classrooms 
  • 4 four labs 
  • 5 manufacturing cells 
  • A vast manufacturing floor 
  • 5 general education classrooms 
  • Plus faculty and student amenities 

More event photos visit our Flickr Page

Photos Clark College/Jenny Shadley unless noted otherwise