READING AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (RACC) is a public community college
* 1 History * 2 Flood of 2006 * 3 References * 4 External links
Reading Area Community College was founded on October 1, 1971, and sponsored for 20 years by the Reading School District. Classes were held for the first time on October 13, 1971, with an enrollment of 265 students. The college operated from several buildings throughout Reading during its early years until it acquired the Holiday Inn (the current Berks Hall building) in 1978. On July 1, 1991, the Berks County Board of Commissioners assumed sponsorship of the college. In 1996, the college completed a campus expansion plan that transformed it into an attractive city-based campus.
Initially students attended classes at many locations throughout Reading. In 1977, the college purchased the former Holiday Inn at Second and Penn Street. After extensive renovations to the building, administrative offices and credit programs were moved to the present riverfront campus in the fall of 1978.
By the fall of 1988, enrolled credit students numbered 1640 and more
space was needed. RACC purchased 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land between
its campus and the
As the college grew, the resources of a single sponsoring school district became inadequate to sustain the required expansion. The majority of students lived in Berks County, outside of the Reading School District. The Berks County Board of Commissioners took the initiative to study the need for a broader base of financial support for RACC. In February 1990, the commissioners appointed a fifteen-member Citizen Task Force to study the sponsorship issue. In their report presented to the commissioners on September 13, 1990, they stated, “The current situation, where one school district acts as sponsor, is unique in Pennsylvania, is contrary to economic development trends over the life span of the community college, and is clearly untenable in today’s economic climate.” In conclusion, they stated “there is a compelling case for sole sponsorship (of the college) by the county government and the required financial commitment by the county would be reasonable, cost effective and not overly burdensome to the taxpayers.” At the October 4, 1990 meeting of the Berks County Board of Commissioners, they voted unanimously to sponsor Reading Area Community College effective July 1, 1991.
In 1992, Reading Area Community College launched its first capital campaign to secure private funds for a new library. The campaign goal of $1,750,000 was exceeded and $2,739,000 was raised for the project. Those gifts enabled the college to go beyond the original basic facility and include additional educational equipment and laboratories. With the matching funds provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a $7.54 million library was constructed.
The Yocum Library, overlooking the Schuylkill River, opened in March 1996. It includes conference rooms and a humanities center. This distinctive addition to the Reading skyline serves as the landmark building that marks the gateway to the city.
As of 2015, RACC was voted with the best FOLLETT bookstore in the nation.
FLOOD OF 2006
On Wednesday, June 28, 2006, after an extremely dry late winter and
early spring, heavy rains struck eastern