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Rio Tinto has donated 28.25 acres of land to expand the Southwestern Oregon Community College’s (SWOCC) Curry Campus.

The land is worth approximately $US165,000 ($243,000) and will triple the size of the campus located 3.2 kilometres north of Brookings, Oregon, USA.

The expansion is expected to add space to the west and south of the existing ten-acre site, which the major miner donated to SWOCC in 2010.

The 2010 donation provided land to create a 25,000 square foot facility for an in-person instruction, a distance learning connection with the main campus in Coos Bay, and it provided space for a lab serving the nursing and allied health training programs.

Rio Tinto’s newly donated land will feature upland, forested and wetland areas that can provide additional teaching opportunities related to natural resources and forestry career pathways, as well as space for potential development of a career technical facility related to manufacturing and trades.

SWOCC has plans to explore these possibilities in 2024 when it plans to revisit its master facilities plan for a mid-range plan update.

“Rio Tinto has been a great partner. They understand the importance of education and support the vision we have for our community,” SWOCC president Patty Scott said.

“This investment in our communities and campus will pay off for generations. When our young people and residents in need of skill updates can train locally and affordably, they are more likely to remain as working professionals who invest in and dedicate their energy into ensuring our small rural towns thrive.”

Rio Tinto global head of closure Peter Harvey said the major miner is pleased to renew its support of SWOCC.

“Ensuring students get opportunities to develop their full potential is an important part of Rio Tinto’s approach to supporting the social and economic development of communities and we are proud to be leaving a positive legacy in this region of the US,” Harvey said.