TCC Opens Two State-of-the-Art Educational Facilities

FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 25, 2015) Tarrant County College officially opened the doors today of two state-of-the-art education facilities on South Campus, the first TCC campus opened after residents voted 50 years ago to establish a community college. Tarrant County residents in 1965 joined a national push to expand educational opportunities beyond the elite so the growing need for skilled workers could be met.
The $42 million Center of Excellence for Energy Technology – the largest of its kind in the nation – is a sustainable, learning and training center built with walls exposing the color-coded mechanical infrastructure to aid with teaching. The 87,000-square-foot 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 about six months following construction.
TCC South/Fort Worth ISD Collegiate High School opened this fall with 103 ninth-grade students. The $13-million facility completes the District’s objective to foster a college-going culture by housing a collegiate high school on each campus where students can earn an associate degree while completing their high school diploma. The school is FWISD’s newest Gold Seal School of Choice.
“When you look at both facilities together, you see that in this, TCC’s 50th year, we are building on our legacy of excellence and service to our community while looking well into the future,” said TCC South Campus President, Peter Jordan. “We are building programs for students who not only will become self-sufficient through higher education, but will power our regional and national economy full-steam ahead.”
New energy technologies and future workforce opportunities were celebrated during the grand opening event, Power Generation: Fueling the Future. TCC officials and FWISD’s new superintendent Kent Paredes Scribner, were joined at the observance by elected officials including State Sen. Konni Burton, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks and Kennedale Mayor Brian Johnson.
Among the business, industry and education leaders in attendance were the project’s managing architect Robert Pence, president and CEO of Freese & Nichols, Inc.; William Clayton, vice president, Mass Retention Sales and executive director, the NRG Retail Charitable Foundation; Tom Dickinson, training manager, Johnson Controls: Randy Boyd, president/owner, AC Supply Company; David Parks, president, Hydradyne; and Crowley ISD Superintendent Dan Powell.
As part of the opening, TCC students put the finishing touches on the installation of an NRG Street Charge® station, a 12.5-foot tower equipped with solar panels and a bevy of mobile device charging cables where consumers can plug in and get a free charge. It is the second station to be installed at South Campus.
TCC South/Fort Worth Collegiate High Students participated in the ceremonies including Sissely Miles, who sang the National Anthem. Colors were presented by Tasneem Alhanawi, Tarean Carter, Jacqueline Hernandez and Magaly Moreno. Music was provided by the South Jazz Ensemble, directed by Rick Stitzel.
South Campus opened in 1967 as the first campus after the District was established by county-wide vote July 31, 1965. TCC, the 16th-largest highest education institution in the nation, offers a wide range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including traditional programs, such as Associate of Arts degrees, Community & Industry Education courses, workshops and customized training programs.
“Over the next 10 years, Texas is projected to experience 30 percent growth in energy-related jobs, including oil and gas rotary drill operators; oil, gas and mining service unit operators; and, oil and gas roustabouts,” Jordan said. “Together, projections suggest that in these disciplines alone there will be 19,000 new and replacement jobs that will need to be filled. Through our Center of Excellence for Energy Technology, TCC is well-equipped to get them prepared. And, many of them may come from the students who started their collegiate career right here at TCC South/Fort Worth ISD Collegiate High School.”