Richard Woodcock Education Center

Western Oregon University

The Richard Woodcock Education Center is the new home to The College of Education (COE), and unites all three divisions of COE under one roof, including the COE’s Regional Resource Center on Deafness. In addition, a dedicated computer lab for honing American Sign Language (ASL) teaching skills is located in the new facility.

The building design supports the needs of deaf students through implementation of DeafSpace design principles, including wider hallways and stairs that enable students to converse in sign language while walking side-by-side, transparency across interior spaces, and automatic doors that do not require a push-button or hand motion to activate, allowing conversation to flow smoothly.

The Education Center includes ten flexible classrooms, four seminar rooms, two active learning classrooms, one active learning computer lab, and one standard computer lab. A specialized STEM classroom helps teachers learn how to teach science, technology, engineering and math curricula. A flexible, multipurpose space supports studying and small group activities, as well as faculty meetings and other COE community events.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are used for load bearing walls, floors, and ceilings, and are left exposed in key student gathering areas known as Collaboration Hubs. CLT also comprises the two-story feature wall which supports the main stairs, along with the external wall and solid guardrail wall of the secondary stairs. The project is the first building ever to use structurally certified CLT produced in the United States. The decision to source locally-produced panels, made of Oregon-grown Douglas Fir and manufactured in Riddle, Oregon, was a way to take sustainability and rapid site erection to the next level–demonstrating the emerging possibilities with wood design as both structure and decorative finish.