Wayne Community College started construction on its first new building in more than a decade on June 25. The Automotive and Collision Repair Building is “going up.”
A week after dozens of students and every ilk of dignitary flipped trucked-in dirt off parking lot pavement with gold-painted shovels, bulldozers and excavators began the process of removing that asphalt.
The permitting process complete, the visible work can begin, first with the “site prep” and creation of the building pad, then construction of the building, said Associate Vice President for Administrative Services Derek Hunter.
“From this point, it will be obvious that a building is going on that site,” Hunter said.
The construction site is the college’s oldest parking lot. It will extend the northern boundary of the instructional aspect of campus.
The nearly 34,000 square-feet building will displace six rows of spaces (120 spaces) in the lot that was most used by automotive students but will not cause parking issues as the location is backed by another lot, the college’s newest.
It is also across from the current locations of the automotive programs. Classrooms and bays in which laboratories are held are spread between four buildings – Hocutt, Azalea, Magnolia, and Maple buildings – around a vehicle containment lot.
“In the fall of 2020, they will all be together under one roof, in one state-of-the-art facility. And then we expect the numbers of students and offerings will expand like Fix-a-Flat,” WCC President Thomas A. Walker Jr. said at the ground breaking ceremony.
Walker noted that in the 2018-2019 academic year,
* 80 students enrolled in curriculum automotive programs – Automotive Systems ATEP (Automotive Technical Education Program), GM ASEP (Automotive Service Educational Program) and Collision Repair and Refinishing;
* 175 students took the Workforce Continuing Education annual automotive inspection class;
* several training sessions were provided at the request of industry partners, and the number of requests for such training increases each year; and
* 40 high school automotive instructors chose WCC for their required annual training.
The new building will include classrooms, bays, work rooms, offices, meeting and collaboration spaces, and a lobby with a showroom feel – all meeting the standards expected by accrediting partner automotive manufacturers. The front of the building will be conventional construction and the rear will be a pre-engineered building with accommodations for possible expansion.
The project is on schedule and occupancy is expected early in Fall 2020, in time for that semester’s classes to be held in the building.
WCC is using the design-build delivery method which has the team of Daniels and Daniels Construction Company and Moseley Architects working closely together and with college personnel to create a design that meets the needs of the programs and stays within the college’s budget.
During the ground breaking ceremony, Jeremiah Daniels, vice president for business development at Daniels and Daniels, commented on the partnership between the three entities and pointed to a large sign bearing the rendering of the future building. “If you look on this sign, there were three names. We have acted as one,” he said.
“There has been so much work done since February of this year. Our partners with Moseley and with our partners with Wayne Community College, we have worked really hard to get to this point,” Daniels said, calling it a “fun process.”
The budget for this project is $7 million. It will utilize most of what remains of WCC’s allotment from the Connect NC Bond that voters approved in 2016 as well as county funds and a donation for “equipment and student enhancement” from the college’s foundation.
The project is unique in the NC Community College System because WCC is the first among the 58 member institutions to pursue the design-build delivery method in conjunction with State Construction Office oversight. Design-build offers the benefit of a single contract and the advantage of the architect and contractor working together from the start of the project, with the architect employed by the contractor, not the college.
The Automotive Building is the college’s first new construction in more than a decade.
The last new building on the WCC campus was the Spruce Building, which is home to the Business and Computer Technologies programs. The ribbon cutting ceremony for that building was held in March 2007. It was the last building funded by the Higher Education Bond of 2000.
The Automotive Building is the first in an anticipated spate of growth on the campus that will be guided by the 2018-2028 Facilities Master Plan. That plan addresses identified weaknesses in the college’s ability to serve the community, including the lack of space to keep up with growth in its programs.
“The college’s new Facilities Master Plan made the Applied Technologies area the top priority for growth,” Walker said. “We are starting here, with the Automotive and Collision Repair building.”
“Creating a home for the automotive programs will free up the space for creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Center,” Walker said.
The other area identified as a top priority is Allied Health and Public Services, with Arts and Sciences in the second position, then Workforce Continuing Education and Transitional Programs for Career and College at number three, then Business and Computer Technologies, and renovations to the Wayne Learning Center to improve Student Services.
About Daniels and Daniels
Daniels and Daniels Construction Company is a North Carolina-based construction firm with over 50 years’ experience building a variety of projects for public and private clients in the Carolinas.
About Moseley Architects
Moseley Architects provides comprehensive professional architectural, engineering, and interior design solutions to clients seeking responsive and reliable facility planning and design services, as well as specialized expertise. The firm has provided professional architecture and engineering services for over 100 collegiate projects. It has offices in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 12,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 70 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.