Tillamook Bay Community College Celebrates Groundbreaking of Health Education Building on June 21, 2024 (VIDEO)

Story, photos and video by Don Backman

“It’s been a long road,” said Dr. Paul Jarrell, president of Tillamook Bay Community College, to the large audience gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for TBCC’s new health education building. “When we look at this building, we see it as a multi-purpose building to benefit Tillamook.”

The new building will span more than 28,000 square feet. The process was initiated by Dr. Ross Tomlin, TBCC president for seven years, and is moving into the construction phase under the direction of current president Jarrell.

Designed by Opsis Architecture, the building features input from TBCC faculty and staff and the community. Construction will be managed by Wenaha Group.

“We started the nursing program last winter semester,” Jarrell told the group. “In about a year, we will begin training nurses for the community.”

Dr. Ross Tomlin reviewed the development process beginning with a brainstorming session between TBCC staff and faculty. After that, there was a discussion about seeking grant funding and they were advised to approach Tillamook County voters to request a $14.8 million bond. It passed the first time around, representing a strong vote of confidence from Tillamook County voters. Another $8 million came from the Oregon Legislature, and a bond premium provided another $1.4 million. There is $23.8 million available for the project.

Jarrell thanked all of the sponsors and contributors to the project. He singled out Eric Swanson, president of Tillamook Adventist Hospital, for his support, including student placement opportunities, the donation of an ambulance and other contributions. Gail Nelson, executive director of Nehalem Bay Health Center and Pharmacy, also received special thanks for student job placement and other assistance.

The new building will allow the college to develop and expand additional classes and programs. “TBCC will become one campus,” Jarrel explained. “Classes are scheduled to begin in the new Health Education building in the fall of 2025.”

For more information about TBCC classes and new health education programs, visit