New buildings at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus that will expand the school’s existing programs and offer a new one are close to completion.
David Kanoy, director of capital projects for CFCC, said the college is expected to be able to occupy three new buildings off Blue Clay Road – a 74,000-square-foot Advanced & Emerging Technologies facility, a 23,000-square-foot Veterinary Medical Technology program building and a 30,000-square foot Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology (HEATT) building – by the end of April or beginning of May.
The total budget for the project, collectively dubbed the Advanced & Emerging Technologies Center, is $33 million. The center is the final project that CFCC will construct with funds from the $164 million bond referendum that voters approved in 2008. The general contractor is Monteith Construction.
“We think it’s going to have a very positive impact on students. It’s going to allow us to expand our programs and be more available to meet their needs,” said CFCC President Amanda Lee, during a media tour Friday of the new facilities. “Then from the community perspective, this is in response to the bond that the community voted for so we’re keeping our commitment to the needs that we identified when they voted for the bond, and we’re thrilled to have this project wrap up.”
The A&ET building includes science classrooms and labs, as well as Construction Management, Sustainability Technologies and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) programs.
“We also have [about 14,000 square feet of] flex space that’s set up to be ready to go for cooperative training. If somebody has a custom training partnership that they want to do, we’ve got spaces that can house that and be set up for that quickly,” Kanoy said.
The A&ET building also features a roof simulation lab that will include a greenhouse for biology classes and an area for teaching students about the installation of solar roof panels and roof gardens.
A 130-seat lecture hall will serve students and the community, Lee said.
“We’ve got that multi-use space in the BB&T Auditorium [in the McKeithan Center on the North Campus]. This will be another opportunity to have community gatherings that will be a little easier to set up and has been requested on many occasions,” Lee said.
The Veterinary Medical Technology, or vet tech, program is expected to start with 24 students. The vet tech facility in the complex includes anatomy and medical procedure labs. Live dogs, cats, rodents and other animals will be housed there as students learn how to care for them under the supervision of veterinarian Christy Redfearn, who is the veterinary medical technology program director.
David Conklin, chairman of CFCC’s Public Service Department, said most of the animals students will work with in the first year will be shelter dogs and cats.
“This whole building was designed for their safety and comfort ... little things like the double doors on each end [of rooms] to make sure that if a dog gets loose that it can only get so far. We really try to take into account to make sure that we protect the animals that we have here,” Conklin said.
The new CFCC vet tech program will be one of only five in the state; the closest to Wilmington currently is at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford.
“We’ll retain the animals for a certain period of time, but they won’t be here forever. They’ll be here maybe six, seven, eight months, and then our goal is that we’ll adopt them out,” Conklin said.
The HEATT facility in the complex will house the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program and North Campus maintenance and custodial operations.
The first classes at the center are slated to begin this fall.