Mid-May featured a campus-wide game of musical chairs on TCC Northwest as offices, classrooms and labs are moved to new quarters in anticipation of the demolition of the buildings that made up the core of the original campus in 1976.
Those buildings — WFAB, WTLO, WSTU and WCTS — will make way for the construction of NW02 and NW03, the last of four new structures that will complete the campus redevelopment. Another of the original buildings, WADM, was demolished in 2021 to make room for NW01, which will open in October.
San Antonio-based FacilityRX is in charge of the move, and Senior Project Manager Sonia Hogeland says that the week of May 15-19 will be “like a beehive with everyone pushing dollies with boxes and big pieces of equipment.” The heavy work will be done by a subcontractor, with the faculty and staff role limited to packing. In fact, two “How to Pack” seminars were presented earlier in the month.
Hogeland rates this job as a 6 on a 1 to 10 difficulty scale because of the short time for preparation. “Typically, we have, at a minimum, six months to plan, meet with people and get everything organized,” she said. “This exercise started in March.”
The accelerated pace, she fears, may have caused a higher level of angst than usual. “There can be a level of anxiety when something like this happens, but everyone has been very gracious and nice and wonderful to work with.”
The project is made more difficult because of the special items that need to be moved. Desks, chairs and filing cabinets are one thing. Kilns, pianos, artworks and chemicals are another and will be moved by specialists.
The move — this phase of it, anyway — will end on May 28 and will involve all the buildings to be demolished. WCTS, where some facilities will be housed until their final destination, NW01, is operational in October, will have to wait until fall. Once it is vacated, the next — and final — move will be early in 2026 when the final two buildings are completed.
This move is the only move for some people. Most of the science faculty and labs will go directly from WCTS to permanent quarters in NW05. Others aren’t so fortunate. President Zarina Blankenbaker, for instance, moved from WADM to WSTU and now will move to WCTS before finally reaching her digs in NW01 when it opens in October.
WFAB will be the first building since 2021 to feel the bite of a supersize excavator and will be followed by WTLO, WSTU and WCTS at intervals of about 30 days. In each building, items not removed will be inventoried and put up for auction. Anything not selling will be demolished along with the building after all utilities are disconnected and asbestos mitigated.