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Whatcom Community College will break ground spring 2018 on new building

The Phyllis and Charles Self Learning Commons is first state-funded campus building since 2004

Post Date:02/16/2018 4:13 p.m.

Phyllis & Charles Self Learning Commons drawing

Bellingham, Wash. – Whatcom Community College (WCC) will break ground on the Phyllis & Charles Self Learning Commons in spring 2018. The long-awaited project was part of 2017-19 biennial capital budget approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in January. The project was partially funded at $33.96 million. The total escalated cost of the project will total almost $37 million. It will be Whatcom’s first state-funded building since Kulshan Hall opened in 2004.

The 65,328-square-foot facility will be the new home for WCC’s library, writing center, math center, tutoring services, testing, media services, and other critical academic support functions. The student-focused building boasts ample access to technology, study and collaboration spaces. As the welcoming hub of learning activity on campus, it brings together in one central location, resources and technologies that support and enrich the learning experience. WCC will work with Schreiber Starling Whitehead Architects of Seattle and Colacurcio Brothers Construction of Blaine. The facility, to be located on the corner of Kellogg Road and Cordata Parkway (adjacent to Kulshan Hall), is scheduled for completion in fall 2020. 

In December 2013, the WCC Board of Trustees recognized the significant service and monetary contributions that Phyllis and Charles Self provide to the College by naming the building in their honor. Phyllis Self was a trustee from 1996 to 2006, served as trustee chair in 2002 and 2006, and has been a WCC Foundation Board Director since 1999. The Selfs generously support the College and WCC students through an endowed scholarship fund for students and a legacy gift bequest.

“The Learning Commons is more than brick and mortar. The resources inside this building will enhance the learning experience for our students and support student success and achievement,” said WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown. “The Learning Commons responds to students’ changing needs.”

About Whatcom:

Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve 11,000 students annually. The College works closely with the community to prepare graduates to excel in their fields and meet emerging workforce needs. On its campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers a four-year bachelor of applied science, transfer and professional-technical degrees, as well as basic education, job skills training, and community education classes. For more information, visit


Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310, 


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