The doors of two significant buildings on the Navarro College Waxahachie campus will not open when students return to class Monday because of weather-related factors.
Dr. Harold Nolte, president of Ellis County campuses, said the classroom building and the continuing education and protective services building will not be completed until mid- or late September.
“The date of completion for both buildings was set for mid-August but, because of the excess amount of rain we’ve seen recently, it has caused the completion date to be postponed,” Nolte said, noting workers are working diligently to complete the buildings. “It’s hard to have a delay like this because you want school to begin on time with the buildings ready for use.”
Assistant dean Terry Gibson noted, despite early weather delays, the building project is progressing as quickly as can be expected.
“The workers are working really hard to make up the time missed but there is really no way that it can be made up,” Gibson said. “Once completed, the buildings will be nice and I’m looking forward to it. Just to be able to see the classrooms full is something to get excited about.”
The one-story, 22,000-square feet classroom building will house 12 classrooms, nine faculty offices, developmental math labs, chemistry and physics labs, computer-based technology labs and other areas of interest.
The one-story, 12,000-square feet continuing education and protective services building will house eight classrooms and two fire bays. This building will offer emergency medical technology classes, fire academy classes (offered day and night, every fall and spring), new police academy classes (offered night and shift classes and meet every third day), a paramedics program (offered a full year, with a new program offered every fall and spring) and EMT classes (offered day and night, every spring and summer).
“The fire academy is a very big program and I’m just amazed at all the students who are taking an interest in it,” Gibson said.
Although the completion of the two buildings is a slow process, once completed, furnishing will be quick as the furniture has already been purchased.
“Yes, we already have the furniture and it’s stored, thanks to the grand generosity of Magnablend Inc.,” Nolte said. “They’ve allowed us to store everything there until the buildings are finished. They’ve been very helpful and so has the city by signing off on permits and things of that nature. They’ve all been very good to us.”
Because of the growth the city has experienced in the past years, the buildings are two of eight buildings planned for the campus.
“You have to build in stages and get the enrollment status updated and once the enrollment numbers reach their limit, you have to build in order to accommodate your students. You have to pay for what you build,” Gibson said. “We’ve made good use of the NCWC building, which houses the administration and some faculty offices, testing centers, the book store, counseling office, financial aid office and others, but we definitely needed the two new buildings.”
“Ellis County is a fast-growing county, but we adapt and learn what we need to know to grow here in Waxahachie. We’re having such a major growth, which is a good thing because it’s nice to grow,” Nolte said. “The more we grow, the more buildings we’ll build and each will serve a purpose. After the completion of the two buildings, we’ll make changes to the main building, which will include renovations of the registration office, the bookstore and the testing center. We also need to be able to expand both our student center and our bookstore.”
While completions are being made and future renovations are being planned, students will use other facilities neighboring the campus to take their classes.
“Because of our neighbors, like the Civic Center and other buildings along John Arden Drive, we’re able to use their facilities to accommodate our students,” Nolte said. “In the past, we’ve even used meeting rooms at hotels to hold classes for them. It’s a problem, but a good problem.”
“Once we get started and see what our enrollment status is, hopefully we’ll be able to have classes here on campus in our main building,” Gibson said.
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