FORT WORTH, Texas (March 3, 2014) – Tarrant County College’s new sustainable learning and training center is one step closer to reality following a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at South Campus in south Fort Worth.
Representing an investment of nearly $33 million, the Energy Technology Center is scheduled to open for classes fall 2015 and will be the largest of its kind in the nation. The 87,000-square-foot facility will showcase forward-thinking technologies and concepts to maximize energy conservation and learning experiences, including the use of exposed building components to be used as teaching tools.
The facility is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status with the stretch goal to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The U.S. Green Building Council normally awards final designations six months or so following construction.
The Center allows for much needed growth for the existing Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Programs. It also opens the door for the expansion to include new programs of Geothermal Technology, Wind Generation, Active Solar, Oil and Gas Technology and Industrial Technology.
“Everything we do at Tarrant County College centers around our commitment to driving student success and having a positive impact on our community,” said TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. “The Energy Technology Center is just one example of TCC’s Centers of Excellence that incorporate cutting-edge teaching and learning technologies.”
Chancellor Hadley was joined at the ceremony by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and the project’s managing architect Robert Pence, president and CEO of Freese & Nichols, Inc.
“As President of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to represent the Board and their decision to support the funding of this innovative center,” said TCC Board President Louise Appleman. “The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of state-of-the-art technology in education and the value this facility will provide students and the Tarrant County community.
“I can hardly wait to look thorough the walls that will expose the color-coded mechanical structure, and to see the use of solar panels and the other renewable energy strategies. It is truly a Green building in every sense of the word.”
Also present were TCC board members O.K. Carter, William Greenhill, Conrad C. Heede, Gwendolyn Morrison and Kristin Vandergriff. South Campus President Peter Jordan and Vice Chancellor Nina Petty, who oversees Real Estate and Facilities for the District, also participated.
The ceremony included a performance by the South Jazz Ensemble, directed by Rick Stitzel.