A giant cake and ribbon-cutting marked the festivities for the grand opening of Masset’s new Northwest Community College campus.
The new college is located in the former military building beside the hospital, and has been painted and updated, including a brand new computer classroom with dozens of state-of-the-art computers with high speed internet.
Guests at the opening included Masset mayor Barry Pages, Old Massett’s Reynold Russ, and Beth Davies, the vice-president of education from NWCC.
“It’s a very glad day,” said Ms Davies, describing the struggle that they have gone through to get the college open. There used to be a NWCC in Masset, she said, but a series of frustrations, including an eviction, a condemned building, and the unpleasant “barracks,” led to several years of absence for the college.
Mr. Pages addressed the group, saying he is grateful to the college for coming to Masset and providing quality educational opportunities.
“With the transportation hurdles here, it’s important for there to be opportunities in the community,” he said. “I’d like to thank the college and the community as well for that.”
Reynold Russ said that there is a real need for a college at the north end, to help counter the unemployment rate.
“You can’t get a job unless you have a ticket,” he said, “young people are starting to understand that.”
The college is offering a Business Administration Certificate program beginning this fall, among other courses.
Community Learning Facilitator Kimiko von Boetticher said that she is “really excited about this,” and that she hopes to create a safe and positive learning environment for islanders.
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