February 7, 2024

Cochise College plans to have students in dorms on Sierra Vista campus in January 2025

The new housing complex will be named Bugen Hall after George Bugen

Bugen Hall Construction Construction on the Cochise College Sierra Vista campus dorms, Bugen Hall. January 31, 2024.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

Cochise College is about a year away from having dorms at its Sierra Vista Campus.

Cochise College President Dr. J.D. Rottweiler said the need for student housing at the Sierra Vista Campus is linked to the college’s desire to do customized training.

"For our cadets that are going through the police academy, those who live greater than 50 miles away, have to have a place to stay," said Rottweiler. "We’re seeing the same pressure in Nursing.”

He said the two-story dormitory will house 45 students.

"We have pods that will have three private rooms," said Rottweiler. "Those three share a restroom, and then, a little common space. There is no kitchenette in it, but there is a place to have a refrigerator and a microwave.”

The housing will be tailored to the length of the program students will be enrolled in.

"If you are here for 8-weeks training, it will be 8 weeks," Rottweiler said. "If you’re here for 20 weeks, it will be 20 weeks … Clearly we’ll have a number of students that will be here for a full semester. But we’re going to try to be much more flexible, kinda out of the traditional models of housing."

The Student Housing complex will be named after George Bugen, who dedicated $9 million of his estate to the college to use for the Sierra Vista Campus. The college is using those funds in part to fund the $15 million dollar building.

Executive Director of the Cochise College Foundation Denise Hoyos said that Bugen passed away in March of 2022.

"When he came to see us in 2011, it was to talk about how he — he had a vision to be able to support the college and students around things that were of interest to him." said Hoyos. "And he happened to come to that meeting with the ability to tell us that he had quite a bit of ability to do that."

Hoyos said Bugen had Bisbee roots.

"The Bugen name is pretty much synonymous with Bisbee," said Hoyos. "George's dad and brothers had a store, Bugen Brothers Grocery. George was born above the store ... He had started in mining. He went to Bisbee High School. And he was on the first Bisbee football team to beat Douglas."

Rottweiler said that Bugen wanted to make a difference in the areas of career and technical training.

“George was a Bisbee native, his family had come over," said Rottweiler. "They were miners ... He was a Bisbee High School graduate, and had seen the impact of his training he received in the Navy as a machinist had in his life. So, he wanted to make sure students had the opportunity to receive very technical, career-minded training that would give them a chance to improve their lives ...

"With his passing, he had promised his estate to the college,” Rottweiler continued. "And so that has come in, and his one request was that those dollars be used under the direction of the college president for things specific for the Sierra Vista campus."

The college plans to have students in the new dorms by next January.

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