MCCC is changing again.
Construction will begin on the East and West Technology Buildings before the year is over, said Jack Burns, the Director of Campus Planning & Facilities.
The space between the two buildings will be filled in to create one student-centered building. Student services, including disability services and art classes will be in the new building. It will also house the RCTC (Regional Computer Technology Center), which will be completely redone.
In the meantime, the college has to go through different levels of state approval.
“We have the schematic design approval, which is what they call level 300 and the architect’s getting ready to submit the drawings for the design development phase, which is the level 400,” Burns said.
The next level is 500, and this involves construction documents, he said.
“Once we get that approved, then we’ll be set to go out for bids, contractors, and then once we get bids for contractors, the state has to look them over and approve them, we’ll be ready to start construction,” Burns said.
How long it takes each level to get approved depends on how many other things the state has to do at the time.
“It’s going to be another month or so before we could/can possibly go out for bids,” Burns said. “We should start heavy under construction definitely before the end of the year.”
Once construction starts, Burns said things will move quickly. The outside will need to be enclosed quickly due to winter conditions.
“I think it’s going to be a game-changer as far as certain services like the testing and the disability services and tutoring. I think it’s really going to help them improve the way they serve students,” Burns said.
There will be a classroom in the building that’s dedicated to active learning, a new type of teaching, centered on collaboration and technology, Burns said. If it goes well, the college will use it in other classes around campus.
Students and staff can see proposed plans for the new building and artist renderings of the inside and outside. These are shown on two boards that are outside the Admissions Office in the Administration Building. The boards will move around campus so everyone will have a chance to see them.
“I think it’s pretty awesome that we’re actually renovating the college, especially with how old it is. My mom went here,” Jenna Magrum, a student on campus, said.
Burns has been dealing with health problems related to a cancer diagnosis in fall of 2016.
“I had a rough road, had a cancer bloom around Easter time. It took me out until I came back a couple weeks ago or whatever. I had to go through radiation and I’m now on. I’m not doing chemo, instead I’m doing immune-therapy, which is the new thing in cancer fighting, where it uses your own immune system to fight the cancer as opposed to chemo, where you’re introducing drugs to your system to fight it,” Burns said.
He’s feeling better and is back to work.
“It’s working very well on me. I came very close to calling in to Hospice, so right now I’m doing well and I’m getting stronger every day, so we’ll see. No one knows what the future has in store for them. I’m fighting,” he said.
He said he was getting bored during his leave of absence.
“I was getting bored at home. Day-time TV is boring. I binged-watched everything on Netflix,” he laughed.
He asked the doctor if he would be able to come back to work and the doctor said it was alright.
“Here I am,” Burns said.