Jerry Wolfe, aviation faculty and bachelor’s degree program director at Green River College, points out features of an air traffic control tower simulator at the college’s new Auburn Center. HEIDI SANDERS, Kent Reporter

Green River College showcases new Auburn Center with open house

Green River College hosted an open house at its new Auburn Center on Dec. 1.

The new facility at 1221 D. St. NE, began serving students in September.

The 31,500-square-foot, three-story building includes eight classrooms, two computer labs and common spaces for students study or relax.

On the first floor are the Washington Certification Services offices and a Washington Environmental Training Center (WERTC) lab. WETRC is a non profit organization that provides specialized training and continuing education for water or wastewater personnel as well as backflow assembly testers throughout the state.

The Small Business Assistance Center, which provides referral services and business counseling at no charge to small businesses, is located on the second floor, as is the adult basic education program, which offers English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and General Education Development (GED) courses.

The third floor is dedicated to the college’s aviation program and includes classrooms, faculty office space, a computer lab and an air traffic control lab – complete with a flight tower simulator. A terrace overlooks Auburn Municipal Airport.

Green River’s aviation program offers associate in applied science degrees in air traffic control, air transportation, airline dispatch, airport management, commercial pilot, professional pilot and unmanned aerial systems, as well as a bachelor’s of applied science degree in aeronautical science.

The aviation program was previously housed in the Technology Center on the college’s main campus.

Construction of the new Auburn Center began in spring 2015 after the Green River College Board of Trustees approved the purchase of 3.75 acres of land just east of Lowe’s.

The center cost about $10 million to construct. The total project, including land acquisition and site improvement, was around $20 million.