PCC "Demolition Day"

Demolition of the former Fortuna Inn and Suites, 333 W. Drachman St., began Thursday after a ceremony that included Pima Community College educators and staff members, employers and other members of the community.

PCC will begin demolishing a former motel on Thursday, Aug. 16, to make way for the downtown campus' new Center of Excellence in Applied Technology.

College officials, faculty and staff will be on hand for a "Demolition Day" ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday to mark the official start of the college expansion.

Pima Community College bought the Fortuna Inn and Suites, in the 300 block of W. Drachman St., which is along the western side of the campus.

The old motel will be razed and the site prepared for the new technology center. Demolition will take about three weeks. The land will be prepared while the college seeks an architect. Groundbreaking for the construction project is expected in early 2019, according to a PCC news release.

The Applied Technology Center will include a manufacturing floor, maker space, automotive and diesel technology labs, and CAD and robotics labs. The center will allow the college to expand critical programs in manufacturing, welding and automotive technology and add new programs as needed.