Oklahoma City Community College's Capitol Hill Center moves into temporary space

As Oklahoma City Community College's Capitol Hill Center moves into its third temporary location in 12 years, college officials say its next move will be into a permanent facility.
by Silas Allen Published: April 28, 2012
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As Oklahoma City Community College's Capitol Hill Center moves into its third temporary location in 12 years, college officials say its next move will be into a permanent facility.

The center recently moved into a temporary location on the second floor of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. The college is renovating a building a few blocks away, on the corner of SW 25 and Hudson Avenue.

Sergio Gallegos, the center's coordinator, said he expects the permanent location will be ready in three years. Until then, he said, the temporary location allows the college to maintain a presence in the Capitol Hill district.

Close to its roots

The college established the center in 2000 with grants from the U.S. Department of Education and Southwestern Bell Communications.

Initially, the center was housed in Capitol Hill Elementary School; after that, it moved into the nearby Latino Community Development Agency.

The center's location in Capitol Hill is an extension of the college's roots in south Oklahoma City, said OCCC President Paul Sechrist. When it was founded in 1972, the college's original name was South Oklahoma City Junior College.

Although its main campus has since moved to its location at 7777 S May Ave. and its service area has expanded beyond south Oklahoma City, the college still has a commitment to the Capitol Hill district, Sechrist said.

“Our roots are 40 years ago, right here,” he said. “We always wanted to be right here in the heart of Capitol Hill, right here on 25th Street.”

Community focus

The center includes two classrooms and two computer labs, as well as a small library that the center plans to open up to community organizations for use as meeting space. The two computer labs provide free Internet access to community members when they aren't in use for a class, Gallegos said.

The center offers a range of courses geared toward the needs of the heavily Hispanic, high-poverty neighborhood, Gallegos said. The offerings include computer and technology training, workforce development, English as a second language courses and GED prep classes, he said. Many of the courses are offered in English, Spanish and Korean.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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