Bellevue College (BC) has secured the 43,000 square-foot Liberty II Building in Bellevue to become the permanent home of its Continuing Education division.

Purchased for a sum of $10.9 million for Bellevue College by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, through the state department of General Administration, the facility had been owned by Triple C Associates, LP, and occupied by Microsoft Corporation.

The location of the building — 14673 N.E. 29th Place in Bellevue, just off SR 520 — offers a number of advantages for the college.

“This is an ideal site for us because it offers easy public transit and freeway access as well as  top-quality facilities, including fiber-optic network service, to support our numerous high-tech and professional-development programs,” said Bruce Riveland, dean of continuing education for Bellevue College.

“About 14,000 people — more than two-thirds of our enrollments — are working professionals in our career-related programs in computers and technology, project management, technical communications, translation and interpretation, and other fields,” Riveland said.

The college expects to begin holding classes at the new location in April.

In the interim, the two-story facility will be remodeled and upgraded to include 15 computer classrooms with high-speed network connections, 17 standard classrooms with multimedia capabilities, two large rooms dedicated to art programs, another for movement activities such as yoga and tai chi, gathering areas for students, and parking.

Architects for the renovation are Calvin Jordan & Associates, Inc.

While the renovation is in progress, BC’s Continuing Education classes will be held at Bellevue School District’s Robinswood campus, at 14844 SE 22nd Pl. in Bellevue, and City University, 1900 1st St. in Bellevue.

The division had been operating out of the 10700 Northup Building, which it has leased for the past 10 years.

“Our purchase of a permanent facility will reduce the college’s annual operating costs, ” Riveland said.  “It also complies with the state Office of Financial Management’s request that colleges no longer lease facilities.”

BC’s Continuing Education division serves 22,000 annual enrollments in programs in computing, business and workplace skills, world languages, art, travel and personal enrichment.

The division also provides contract training tailored for the workforces of individual employers.

For more information about BC’s Continuing Education programs, visit www.gotobcc.com.

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