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Here is the bus barn at the First Student complex on Northwest Reiman Avenue. Linn-Benton Community College officials plan to remodel the structure into a two-story classroom building as the key element of the Benton Center expansion.

Linn-Benton Community College has set a 10 a.m. Thursday groundbreaking event for the expansion of its Benton Center in Corvallis.

The two-story building at 931 NW Reiman St., just north of the Benton Center, will add 20,000 square feet of additional classroom space. The college is remodeling the space previously occupied by the First Student bus company.

LBCC paid First Student $3 million for the property, which also will include additional parking (149 auto spaces and 92 bike spots). The parcel is 2.5 acres and includes a 12,000-square-foot building.

The project is being paid for by bond funds approved by voters in a November 2014 election. Voters approved $34 million in property tax funds for projects collegewide. Approximately $10 million will be spent on the Benton Center project, with other funds paying for upgrades at LBCC’s medical, transportation and main Albany campuses.

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Scheduled to speak at Thursday’s event are LBCC President Greg Hamann, Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber, Benton Center Director Jeff Davis and LBCC Board of Education Chair Jim Merryman.

Construction is scheduled to begin in September and conclude in December 2020.

Approximately 5,000 students take classes at the Benton Center. More than 18,000 students attend LBCC campuswide.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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