For TCC Northwest, battered by a windstorm in 2016, and primarily held together by scaffolding ever since, Friday, May 5, will signal the start of a renaissance of sorts with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating two new buildings.
The buildings, NW01 and NW05 under the College’s new naming protocol, are the first to be completed with significant input from Three Goals, Eight Principles — TCC’s fundamental action plan governing everything from construction to class scheduling.
Their completion is also the halfway point in the campus redevelopment. Construction on buildings NW02 and NW03 will begin in April of 2024 after the demolition of four buildings that comprised the core of the campus when it opened in 1976.
The dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. inside the north entrance to NW05. Faculty Association President Krista Rascoe will open the lineup of speakers that includes Northwest President Zarina Blankenbaker, Chancellor Elva LeBlanc, Board of Trustees President Teresa Ayala, Tarrant County Commissioner Manny Ramirez, Fort Worth City Councilmember Carlos Flores, Fort Worth ISD Deputy Superintendent Karen Molinar and Student Government Association President Sammy Jepsen.
The formal ribbon cutting will end the program, which will be followed by guided tours of NW05. NW01 needs a few more finishing touches and will open in mid-October.
The building exteriors were designed by architects from Gensler’s Dallas office and from Huckabee in Plano and are based on Texas landscapes. NW05 reflects bedrock and earth tones while NW01 represents the morning sky, appropriate for the building acting as the “front door” of the campus. NW05, on the north evokes the Texas night sky.
NW01, on the southern edge of the campus, will contain a Welcome Center, most Student Development Service offices, computer science classrooms, administrative offices and faculty workspaces. Of special note is the “Learning Stair,” a supersized staircase that serves not only to connect the first two floors, but also a place where students can study and gather informally in small groups. For some, the staircase is a metaphor for the pathway of education, calling on students to set and reach higher goals.
NW05, on the opposite side of the campus, has two main sections. The western half will contain physical science laboratories and the campus police department. The eastern half will house the Marine Creek Early College High School — but not quite yet.
The high school will have to wait for completion of the entire redevelopment program in early 2026 to move into its new home. In the meantime, that part of the building will act as “swing space,” taking in numerous functional areas such as the library, bookstore, food service, admissions, business services, the math and computer science learning centers, and others that will eventually move to the completed NW01 in October or, in 2026, to NW02 and NW03, the two new buildings that will complete the project.
The Northwest redevelopment project has been funded largely from proceeds of the $825 million bond program approved by Tarrant County Voters in 2019. Skanska is general contractor for the Northwest project, and the Jacobs company oversees the Districtwide bond program, which includes two new buildings and significant renovations at TCC Southeast.