Cleveland Community College broke ground this week on its Advanced Technology Center, a $15 million facility for science programs, a computer lab and office space for the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership.
(TNS) — Cleveland Community College President Jason Hurst was expecting a sunny, 60-degree day on Tuesday. Instead, he got a wet, mid-30s experience. And yet still, Hurst could only describe the day as a beautiful one for the future of his school.
Officials broke ground on what will become its new Advanced Technology Center.
Current and former board of trustee members, college presidents and members of the state Board of Community Colleges and General Assembly attended and participated in the ceremony.
"This is an important day for all of us, a true milestone for Cleveland Community College," said Hurst ahead of the groundbreaking. "This project has required countless hours of brainstorming, discussion, meetings, industry visits from many of the individuals here today."
The groundbreaking is the latest step in a years-long project to bring a new job training facility to CCC. The project was first approved by the college board of trustees in 2016, and school officials have spent the last four years touring colleges and factories in North and South Carolina, Illinois and Kentucky and consulted with local and regional businesses to determine what the new center should have.
The day was especially great for Bruce Mack, CCC vice president of economic and workforce development, who has been a part of the building project since its inception.
"All of the work we put in meeting with local industry, touring other facilities, now to be able to see or facility come to fruition; it's a wonderful feeling to see it happen," said Mack after the groundbreaking. "Our goal has always been for Cleveland Community College to be the center of training and workforce development, and this center is the evidence of that."
The $15 million facility will house Electrical Engineering, Automation Engineering, Industrial Systems/Facilities Maintenance, Machining and Mechanical Drafting programs. It will include a conference room, general classroom, computer lab and space for Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership offices.
"In economic development when it comes to recruiting new industries you only get one chance to make a first impression. Imagine the first impression we are going to make when we are able to host new companies at this center," said Kristin Reese, executive director for Cleveland County Economic Development. "This building will eventually become the initial gateway and landing pad into Cleveland County for companies that are visiting us, acting as a symbolic and literal showplace for industry."
Work on the Advanced Technology Center has been underway for some time ahead of Tuesday's event. Crews began clearing the land the center will go on in late 2020. Work on the new building is expected to last until May 2022, with the first students starting class inside that summer.
(c)2021 The Star (Shelby, N.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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