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Local Dignitaries Help Open STEM Building to the Public

(Adeena Rose Wade / The Independent)

Clark’s STEM building officially opened to the public on Oct. 3 in a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by college President Bob Knight and members of the Board of Trustees.

The long-anticipated STEM building is a “transformational project that has been 10 years in the making,” Knight said in his speech. The project encountered delays during planning due to budget cuts.

Student Megan Phillips started the event at 3 p.m. with an opening speech. Phillips is the president of Clark’s N.E.R.D. Girls club (“Not Even Remotely Dorky”), which promotes women’s involvement in STEM.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee also spoke at the event and proclaimed it a “most exciting day in the state of Washington.” Inslee was excited about the growth in STEM careers and referenced the growing need for STEM-trained employees at local companies.

Following Inslee’s speech, Knight humorously declared him “Honorary Penguin of the Day.”

Speeches were also given by Vancouver city council member Jack Burkman and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Also in attendance were Rep. Brandon Vick and several other elected officials.

The speeches were followed by a formal ribbon-cutting and an appearance from Oswald the Penguin.

Guests explored the 70,000-square-foot building through group tours, equipment demonstrations and “do-it-yourself” helicopter drops down the 44-foot drop tower, while Hors d’oeuvres were served on the outdoor patio.

Several student lounges and classrooms remain to be named by the highest bidder.

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