Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the community need this building?
The need for a new career technology center has reached a critical level in order to dramatically expand education and employment opportunities for MCCC students and citizens. The addition of the Career Technology Center will further the college’s capacity to develop programs to meet the needs of a globally competitive workforce – rebuilding Monroe’s middle class, spurring economic development, and creating jobs in high-growth, high-demand sectors.
It would be bad business and poor quality education to offer programs and career certificates (credit and non-credit) that do not adequately provide students with instruction applicable to the current work place and hands-on experience with real and simulated equipment, similar to what they will be working with in business and industry.
The College’s other option would have been to discontinue programs for which we cannot provide up-to-date curriculum and equipment (the two go hand and hand, you cannot justify the equipment if the curriculum does not support it and you cannot offer the curriculum if you do not have the equipment to provide practical experience). The College decided it is a worthwhile investment to move forward with bringing programming, facilities, and equipment “up-to-date” in high skill, high demand, and high wage job and career areas. The State agreed by way of approving our project.
We need more space, in general, on Campus. Each academic division and certainly other departments and offices on Campus have identified space needs that exceed the current building footprints. The utility for the East and West Technology buildings to serve some of the space needed is immediate and/or will be available at a later date as long as renovation costs are not prohibitive and result in the decision to renovate rather than demolish and/or rebuild all or part of the two buildings.
Finally, we will likely not get this chance again, in the near future (i.e., the State investing 50 percent of the construction, furniture and equipment costs). Not to mention that given the current economy, the scale of what is “gotten” verses what is paid weighs on the College’s side.
How is this building going to help MCCC meet the educational needs of students?
Instruction and programming in the area of career education is not effective unless students leave equipped with knowledge and skills that enhance their ability to secure and retain jobs. In other words, it is essential to provide up to date curriculum and related equipment to contend our students are on equal ground when competing for jobs in the labor market.
How will the Career Technology Center help meet the MCCC mission?
The Career Technology Center will address the core values of providing comprehensive educational offerings; instructional excellence; transformational learning; entrepreneurial and responsive leadership to community needs; accountability to students and stakeholders; and be a source of pride for the residents of Monroe County.
The College mission states: “Monroe County Community College provides a variety of higher education opportunities to enrich the lives of the residents of Monroe County.”
The construction of the Career Technology Center will assist MCCC in providing a variety of higher education opportunities.
Additionally, by providing innovative programming, the College will be better positioned to fulfill its vision of being our community’s first choice for higher learning.
Finally, the Career Technology Center addresses the educational objectives of offering one- and two-year occupational and/or career programs for students preparing for employment in technical, business, or health-related fields; working with governmental agencies and employers to develop training and retraining programs to meet the needs of an evolving economy; and collaborating with school systems, civic groups, educational institutions, individuals, employers, and other constituencies to offer educational services and opportunities.
Why couldn't the college have continued to use the East and West Technology Buildings for their current purpose?
Our current facilities lack the basic infrastructure to support the next generation of Industrial Engineering Technology programming and related equipment, in terms of utilities capacity, room and lab size and ceiling height, and access. In some cases these limitations are inhibiting current program updates and/or expansion.
The East & West Technology buildings lack the infrastructure required to support the types of programs required for the new economy. Following is a sampling of the challenges in the existing space:
- The buildings have very limited electrical capacity and are unable to serve current needs for power as new equipment has been considered for purchase.
- The current programs are scattered throughout the East and West Technology buildings – making expansion, growth and reconfiguration impossible.
- Many of the spaces are too small for the types of equipment and training required for program requirements.
- The East and West Technology buildings have lower ceilings than are typically found in a manufacturing/high-technology facility – which places limits on the types of equipment and programming that can be offered.
- The buildings were designed to function like traditional classroom buildings with limited utility access (compressed air, electrical, water), a lack of sufficient exterior egress in the lab spaces (man doors as opposed to large, overhead doors), and small, segregated suites of rooms (labs have separate storage rooms).
Due to existing space, room configurations, and structural issues, the following cannot be offered in a single space:
- Robotic welding, CNC welding, oxy flame cutting, and resistance welding.
- Materials and non destructive testing, ultra sound, and radiography.
- CNC/Robot machine interface with necessary safety cage.
- Construction laboratory for hands on experience in roofing, dry wall, electrical wiring, etc.
The lack of space also creates the following issues:
- Demonstration and hands-on interaction with the use of solar panels, battery panels, table top trainers, and wind turbines cannot occur.
- The development and delivery of an Auto Servicing Program – which would require hoists, bays, tire balancing equipment, engine diagnostics, and a dynamometer cannot occur.
- The Nuclear Engineering Technology Program needs for demonstrating the use of larger pumps, motors, cutouts, valves, and controls cannot be met.
What will be done with the East and West Tech buildings?
The East and West Technology Buildings may be used to fulfill existing need for classroom space on campus dependent upon the usability of the existing space and/or the need for renovation
How is the College preparing for the increase in operational expenses brought on by the facility?
The estimated total annual operating cost for the Career Technology Center is $465,234. This estimate includes funding for custodial, utilities, maintenance, security, insurance, and fire protection. The annual operational expenses for this facility will be paid for through the College’s general fund.
When will construction of the building begin?
Site work began in November, 2011, beginning with the closure of a portion of the main drive between the Life Sciences Building and Welch Health Education Building. MCCC Board of Trustees broke ground in a ceremony on May 4th. Construction is progressing rapidly, and is currently on schedule.
When will the building open for classes?
Classes will be held in the building beginning Fall of 2013.
How does the Career Technology Center help meet the broader long-term needs of the college?
The building is being built with flexibility in mind. Career program curricula and related equipment needs are changing rapidly. The College needs to be able to move equipment and programming in and out. With the exception of welding and auto, most equipment, furniture, fixtures, and cabinetry may be moved in and out with ease so that the College may at any time repurpose a room, lab, or quite frankly the entire building.
Some classrooms and labs are dedicated to a single program or a few programs, others are multi-use. The building is being built in a way that it can be used as much as possible by other areas of the College. However, a welding lab, for example, cannot be used for much more than a welding lab.