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CCS’ Hillyard Center to close, shift to Greene Street campus

It’s one of the last buildings standing on the east side of Market Street. The neighboring Safeway to the north and Ziggy’s Lumber to the south have been torn down to make room for the soon-to-be-built North Spokane Corridor.

Now the wrecking ball is headed for Community Colleges of Spokane’s Hillyard Center, which will close when this quarter is over June 19.

“We just can’t wait to be out of here,” said Geri Swope, CCS dean of instruction for the adult basic education division. “For the first time, we will be in a brand new, beautiful building with windows.”

All the programs currently offered at the Hillyard Center will move south to Building 15 on CCS’ Greene Street campus.

“It’s exactly 1.7 miles from here,” said Denny Glass, program manager. “It may be a little more complicated getting there, but it’s a great move for us.”

Classes at the Hillyard Center include English as a second language and several programs for students with psychiatric and physical disabilities looking for job training or rehabilitation. Adult basic education programs – which cover high school completion and GED programs – are also housed there.

The Hillyard Center opened in the early 1990s and allowed CCS to consolidate many of its adult education programs there over the years.

Swope said the ESL students probably will have the most difficult time with the move to the Greene Street campus.

“Here you can just drive up to the building and walk in the door,” Swope said, “but still we have no regrets about moving.”

As the buildings around the Hillyard Center were torn down, Glass said the vandals targeting the center increased. Graffiti on the backside of the building is common.

“We’ve had copper wire stolen out of here four times,” Glass said. The last wire theft disabled the center’s roof-mounted air-conditioning unit, which was still being repaired early this week.

The state Department of Transportation will get the keys to the Hillyard Center on July 1, after staff has packed up materials and equipment that’s moving with the programs to the new location.

Swope said the adult education programs are very much needed in Hillyard – but that the move is absolutely necessary and that counselors will be working with students who want to follow the programs to their new home.

“The Hillyard Center has been an anchor here, no doubt about it,” Glass said. “But we are going down the road to Building 15 and we are going to call that home.”