Close to 100 people attend-ed a grand opening celebra-tion for Peninsula College’s new three-story, 61,750-square-foot Maier Hall on Sept. 23.
The $36 million building is named after Peninsula College’s first president, E. John Maier, and replaces the old Maier Hall and three other buildings. Starting this week it will house the math, fine arts and liberal arts departments. It features geothermal energy, a moss roof to filter rain runoff, a 131-seat performance hall, art studios, rehearsal rooms, faculty offices and computer labs.
President Tom Keegan, Reps. Kevin Van De Wege and Steve Tharinger, Schuyler Hoss of Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office and Michael Sweney of the Washington State Arts Commission all spoke at the 45-minute ceremony.
Tharinger said the process for the new Maier Hall began in 2007 and in 2009 the state awarded $33 million to the college for construction. It is difficult to get such substantial funding in tough economic times, but “It’s not the time to not make these investments,” he said.
Education is necessary to make the area’s workforce competitive in the future, Tharinger said.
Keegan said the building is one of six constructed as part of the college master plan since 2002.
“We will not relent in this,” Keegan said, adding the master plan is to create an environment of learning, teaching and creativity.
“We want people to know they came to a special place,” he said.
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