Rio Tinto is donating 28.25 acres of former U.S. Borax land valued at approximately $165,000 for the expansion of the Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) Curry Campus.
This land donation triples the size of the campus about two miles north of Brookings, Oregon. It adds space to the west and south of the existing 10-acre site, which the company donated to the college in 2010.
The first donation provided the land the college needed to create a 25,000 square foot facility in 2012 for in-person instruction and a distance learning connection with the main campus in Coos Bay, Oregon. It also provides space for a lab serving the nursing and allied health training programs to provide high-skill professionals for Curry General Hospital, medical clinics, and care facilities.
The newly-donated land features upland, forested, and wetland areas. These areas can provide additional teaching opportunities related to natural resources and forestry career pathways, along with space for potential development of a career technical facility related to manufacturing and trades. The college plans to explore these and other possibilities with Curry County residents in 2024, as it revisits its Master Facilities Plan for a mid-range plan update.
“We are pleased to renew our support to Southwestern Oregon Community College,” said Rio Tinto Global Head of Closure Peter Harvey. “Ensuring students get opportunities to develop their full potential is an important part of Rio Tinto’s approach to supporting the social and economic development of communities and we are proud to be leaving a positive legacy in this region of the U.S.”
SWOCC President Dr. Patty Scott added, “Rio Tinto has been a great partner. They understand the importance of education and support the vision we have for our communities. This investment in our communities and campus will pay off for generations. When our young people and residents in need of skill updates can train locally and affordably, they are more likely to remain as working professionals who invest in and dedicate their energy into ensuring our small rural towns thrive.”