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Dan Spatz, executive director of institutional advancement at CGCC, who was instrumental in obtaining support and funding for the new skills center and student housing at The Dalles Campus, joins CGCC President Mata Cronin in cutting the ribbon to the new skills center Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

THE DALLES — It was a long time coming, but partners in the building and the outfitting of two new facilities at Columbia Gorge Community College — a skills center and on-campus student housing, both at The Dalles campus — celebrated the opening of both with a ribbon-cutting Saturday, Sept. 10.

“We’ve talked about having this celebration many times, we’ve tried to have it many times, but we haven’t been able to make it happen until today,” said Wasco County Commissioner Scott Hege, one of the partners in the two projects. “So I’m very happy to be here today!”

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Wasco County Commissioner Scott Hege speaks during a celebration and open house for the new skills center and student housing at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. In the background are Chief Wilbur Slockish, The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays and CGCC President Dr. Marta Cronin.

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The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays speaks during a celebration and open house for the new skills center and student housing at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

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Tim Arbogast of Hood River, chair of the CGCC Board of Directors, speaks during ribbon cutting ceremonies at The Dalles campus Sept. 10, 2022.

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Jonathan Neptune, instructional services manager and Community Education Coordinator at CGCC, left, discusses a resin printer with Alex Hughes of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce during a celebration and open house for the new skills center and student housing at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

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Chief Wilbur Slockish Jr. of the Klickitat Band of the Yakama Nation speaks before a crowd gathered to celebrate the opening of a new skills center and student housing at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. Open last school year, COVID delayed the celebration for over a year.

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Shanay Moore, a graduate of the construction skills program, talks about her experience in the program, one of a number of programs run last year in the new skills center. “I’m an advocate,” she explained. 

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Student work is displayed in a glass case in the skill center lobby. In the background are a variety of computer controlled printers and cutters used to make the items displayed.