Career Tech building close to finish line

Students have watched the vast space between the Health and Life Science buildings turn into a modern building.

They’ve experienced the hassle with parking and heard the drilling and hammering in class during the building’s construction.

The good news is the new Career Technology Center is close to being finished.

At the end of January, the building was 80 percent finished, according to Jim Blumberg, director of the college Physical Plant.

The building is ahead of schedule, with only a few major projects left, Blumberg said.

A ribbon cutting is scheduled for August, just in time for the Fall semester.

The CTC will be the second largest building on campus, with 60,000 square feet. Only the administration building is larger.

The CTC building is different from any other building on campus – being the most modern comes with a few perks.

The design inside of the building features a high glass ceiling in the lobby that brings in light from outside. There are high ceilings throughout the building, except in the small classrooms.

The building has polished concrete floors. With the exception of a few carpeted areas, all the floors will be the original concrete, polished to a shine.

This style complements the metal grid ceilings in the hallways.

The furniture and equipment from the West Tech building will be transferred to the new tech building, beginning in April or May. A few new technology features will be added to the rooms, such as in-desk monitors.

Some of the classrooms have sensor lights. When there are people in the classroom, the lights automatically come on and when the room is empty, the lights turn off.

This conserves energy throughout the building, which was a goal of the design.

The CTC building is projected to be around a 90 energy star rating, according to Blumberg.

“The energy star rating cannot be known for certain until it’s been open for a year,” said Jim Blumberg.

Many things have been done throughout the building to make it an energy efficient site.

It uses geothermal heat, a process of receiving heating and cooling from the earth. There will be about a six-year payoff on the geothermal system, Blumberg said.

Other special features in the building include desks with monitors, filtered water fountains with water bottle fill-up spouts, large windows that allow people to see in classrooms, and many seating areas for students to hang out.

In 2009, the college hired the architectural firm, Hobbs and Black, to design the building. The company has worked with the college in the past, redoing all the windows in the Life Sciences building.

By 2010, the preliminary designs were drawn up and in May 2012 the official ground-breaking took place.

There have been as many as 60 people working on construction of the building, Blumberg said. Currently, three companies are in the building, completing the finishing touches.

Laibe Electric is doing the low voltage electric work, Hoover Wells is polishing the cement floors and Monroe Plumbing and Heating is finishing up its  work.

There have been no major problems during the $17 million CTC project, Blumberg said.

Only one injury was sustained by a construction worker ­­- a sprained ankle from tripping over some wire.