Tri-C Innovates on Western Campus
By Marz Anderson
At last Cuyahoga Community College s’ realized vision of the new STEM Center is finally complete in addition to the newly renovated Advanced Auto Tech Center at Western Campus.
The projects both made possible by Tri-C’s bond issue that was approved by voters back in 2017. If you’re not familiar with a bond – a bond is a form of debt owed to the public by an entity, they sell bonds to the public for an upfront payment and in turn offer future payments to bondholders with some additional interest. What may be more commonly known is a levy which the other hand is a tax imposed in order to raise revenue – interesting right?
Issue 61 raised $227.5 million for these and many other renovations taking places at the varied campuses within Northeast Ohio. Both projects totaling $41 million dollars hope to ensure students earning a degree or workforce certification a strong background for future employment, with a focus on state-of-the-art resources and technology to build a foundation for lasting success.
The 60,000-sqaure facility is the new home for science, technology, engineering, and math. Inside you will find a very minimalist styled interior with a focus on conservation, hanging from the ceiling a recycled light bulb fixture and plant walls that offer students a great photo-op at any time of the day. The building houses labs for biology, chemistry, earth science, and IT in addition to prep labs. Walking along the open atrium there are general classrooms for math, quiet studies, collaborative studies or just a nice place to hook up the XboxOne ™ or watch Netflix©.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment in STEM fields are expected to grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. For jobs such as electrical engineers, software development, and more.
“This is the only campus that has the vet tech program.” says Tri-C student Nala Smith. “I don’t usually care about how buildings look as long as professors are nice, but the building is very well stocked [with equipment]. The building is big enough for everyone and you don’t feel stuffed.”
Director of Capital Construction Phillip Pallone can co-sign on the innovation Tri-C is providing students and staff alike.
“I visited my old alma mater and they were stilling using chalk boards. We have modern 85-inch touchscreen devices our faculty operate; I know we have to be headed in the right direction.”
Pallone says in addition to the new building, new locker rooms were built to connect directly to the rec center. Also, that a $3 million dollar renovation to B wing including an adjunct services office, updated classrooms, and a workforce addition that used to only be offered at Metro campus. Construction began in January of 2018 and the center opened just in time for fall but offered more of an industrial look. The building and its spaces such as lounges and studies are welcome to all students so be sure to come and take a look.
Keeping pace with changing technology and taking care of the wear on an old building Tri-C began construction on renovating the Advanced Automotive Technology Center.
“The Advanced Automotive Technology Center represents an investment in the workforce of tomorrow in Northeast Ohio.” said Alex Johnson, president of Tri-C in a previous article written for Tri-C
In 2018 the Ford ASSET program began to be offered with the General Motors ASEP. The program currently holds 200+ students between the ages of 18-and-25 and has experienced an increase in enrollment and job placement over the past serval years. According to Auto Tech Program Director Kitty McCarty the program enjoys a 100% job placement rate with wages averaging $38,000 to start.
Ford and GM have donated a total of $150,000 in vehicles and equipment in addition to local dealership support of more than $200,000. The building now offers a Ford sponsored classroom with six lifts with additional classrooms with lifts for a total of ten. Even with the physical expansion, one new full-time faculty position was added. Finally, expansion included a new student lounge, a conference room, and a secure storage area.
These two projects are just a few of the many completed so far this year, including Metro campus’ outdoor galleria and East campus’ new science labs. Tri-C is the number one community college in Ohio and offers the lowest cost to students.
For more information the STEM programs or Automotive Technology programs visit tri-c.edu/programs