College officials and community leaders gathered Thursday evening for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of a new Navarro College-Waxahachie campus building.

The board of directors and staff of Navarro College held an open house for the grand opening of the new classroom building. The open house and dedication began with the serving of refreshments and hors d’ oeuvres offered prior to the ceremony.

Dr. Harold Nolte opened the ceremony, announcing the college’s recognition as being named “The fastest growing community college in the United States.”

Speakers at the ceremony included state Rep. Jim Pitts, Waxahachie Mayor Joe Jenkins, Navarro College board of trustees chairman Homer Wasson, college district president Dr. Richard Sanchez, city economic development director Doug Barnes, Mark Singleton of Citizens National Bank and Debra Wakeland, Waxahachie Chamber CEO and president.

Jenkins praised the college’s contribution to the Waxahachie community and the benefit to his own family.

“We are truly blessed to have a college in our town that will give its students a firm foundation to continue their education,” Jenkins said.

Sanchez described the development that went into the buildings planning and the master plan for the Waxahachie campus.

“This is a very important time in the life of Navarro College,” Sanchez said.

“Navarro College will always be an economic energy for Waxahachie. It is needed to provide the required education for the projected job growth in the area,” Barnes said, saying that when companies look at a community to locate, they always inquire about the higher education availability.

“With today’s growing technology continuing education is required,” Barnes said.

Following comments by Singleton and Wakeland, the formal ribbon cutting ceremony was held.

The 20,000 square foot building, which was completed in October, has 12 classrooms, plus physics and chemistry labs, 10 administrative offices and other educational labs. It is the second of six new buildings planned for the campus.

“We were busting at the seams,” Matt Miller said.

With the completion of the new classrooms, renovations were made to the original campus building. Prior to the new building, the campus was serving about 2,100 students in the old building.

Besides the new classroom and administration building, campus staff also celebrated the completion and opening of a second new building on the campus.

The smaller, 12,100 square foot building holds the continuing education and protective services education facilities. Included in the protective services program are classes in fire, police, paramedic and EMS.