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Construction begins on Calhoun Advanced Technology Center expansion

October 23, 2023 · Projects

Breaking ground at Calhoun Community College

Calhoun Community College officials celebrated a milestone on October 16, 2023, as they broke ground on the expansion of its cutting-edge Advanced Technology Center (ATC), located on the college’s Decatur campus.

The new 57,200-square-foot building has a primary mission: to support training programs that will drive the growth of North Alabama’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. “Recognized as the No. 1 advanced manufacturing degree-awarding institution, Calhoun remains a powerful workforce training entity in North Alabama,” Dr. Jimmy Hodges, President of Calhoun, said. “We are beyond grateful and excited to be chosen to house such a facility for our students, faculty, and staff, and could not have done it without the support of our ACCS team and local legislators,” he added.

Calhoun adding to the Alabama Community College System

According to Hodges, this expansion project was identified as a critical need through the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) ASPIRE 2030 initiative. This initiative engaged local and state legislators, college stakeholders and the broader community to enhance the college’s focus on workforce training. Generously funded by ACCS, the project is being undertaken by all 24 ACCS community colleges across the state as a commitment to improving education by directing resources into essential upgrades and new constructions statewide.

“As a representative of the Alabama Community College System, we would like to express our gratitude to Calhoun for taking a leadership role in initiating the expansion of the ATC,” Mark Salmon, ACCS Chief Facilities Officer said. “Additionally, we commend Calhoun for selecting an architectural team capable of creating a blueprint that aligns with the requirements of our training programs.”

The Advanced Technology Center addition will equip students with the vital skills needed to secure high-paying careers. This expansion also opens up the opportunity for students to earn nationally-recognized certifications at an affordable cost, further enhancing their professional prospects.

“The building is designed to accommodate specialized spaces for Calhoun’s machine tool technology, welding, aerospace training, industrial systems and technology, Calhoun Workforce Solutions, and CDL training programs,” John Holley, Calhoun Technologies Dean, said.

Goodwyn Mills Cawood will be responsible for providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, landscape architecture and geotechnical engineering services for the new facility, while the actual construction will be undertaken by Bailey Harris Construction. The project is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2025.

“Our team is grateful to the Alabama Community College System and Calhoun Community College for entrusting us to design the Advanced Technology Center Addition,” Hunter Swatek, AIA, Goodwyn Mills Cawood project manager, said. “We’re proud to be part of a project that will prepare students to excel in high-demand fields and positively impact our communities for years to come.”