More than 200 community members, Bates Technical College employees and students watched Board of Trustees Chair Lillian Hunter cut the ribbon last week on the 51,629 square-foot Advanced Technology Center during a ceremony held at Central/Mohler Campus on 19th Street in Tacoma.

Construction on the award-winning building began spring 2014, and is now the new home of Digital Media, IT and Engineering programs, academic classrooms, student support services, and more.

Executive Vice President Al Griswold began the ceremony with the presentation of colors by Clover Park High School Air Force Junior ROTC. Treonna Lee, assistant career advisor at Bates, sang the national anthem and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Those who gave remarks in celebration of the building included Tacoma City Councilman Keith Blocker; chair Hunter; President Ron Langrell; Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the state’s Building and Construction Trades Council; Jace Munson, principal at Forma Construction; and Andrew Olson, Fire Protection Engineering student.

12513607_525410840973966_2506105384801743893_oIn addition to the iconic green screens of the large studio lab, visible from 19th street, one of the most noticeable features of the building is the nearly 20-foot tall mirror-polished, marine-grade stainless steel sculpture, titled YES, positioned at the main entrance. Artist Heath Satow was on-hand at the ceremony and spoke about his unique sculpture.

Satow noted the work “represents the students and their quest to achieve a better life for themselves. Vertical, strong, and determined, the piece begins with perfect organization at the bottom: the strong foundation. As you go up, the sculpture becomes more complex. At the very top, the word YES is machined into the surface.” The piece was built the piece in-house at his Los Angeles, Calif. warehouse studio. Students in the college’s CNC Machinist program milled the word ‘yes.’

Check out this short clip from KBTC’s Northwest Now:

Photos from the event:

Advanced Technology Center ribbon-cutting Ceremony