04/25/13 — College facility plans will get a look

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College facility plans will get a look

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 25, 2013 1:46 PM

Future expansion plans at Wayne Community College rest on the construction of a nearly $10 million energy plant.

The need for the plant tops the list of capital projects on the college's $52 million long-range master plan that will be discussed when the college's Building Committee and the Wayne County Commissioners' Facilities Committee meet Tuesday.

The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. in room 126 in the Dogwood Building on the WCC campus. The meeting is open to the public.

Don Magoon, the chief of administrative services for the college, said that during a recent tour of the campus, commissioners had been given a "broad strokes" view of the plan.

Tuesday's meeting will delve more into the details, he said.

While the existing energy plant is getting older, it is still functioning, Magoon said. However, it lacks the capacity that the college needs in order to add new buildings.

The idea is to build a new energy plant on the opposite side of the campus from the existing one, Magoon said. A new plant would allow the college to shift the energy load, easing the strain on the existing plant.

No money has been allocated for any of the projects and at present it is not clear how the cost would be split between the county and the state, he added.

Unless the county and/or state approves a bond issue the plan would probably be stretched over five to 10 years, Magoon said.

But the energy plant is needed before any building expansion can take place, he noted.

In order of descending priority the college's other top projects and estimated costs are:

* Holly Building, renovations and additions (general classrooms and science labs), site work and parking, $20,682,314

* Hocutt Building, addition (Applied Technology classrooms and labs) and renovations, $4,058,733

* Pine Building, addition (nursing and public safety classrooms and labs) and renovations, $17,317,145.

The Holly and Pine building projects are projected to be financed while the Hocutt and energy plant projects would be paid for through a mixture of cash and financing.

Capital budget and repair projects for upcoming fiscal year are: expansion of the nursing simulation lab, upgrading second-floor lighting in the Wayne Learning Center, security for the business office and cashier, upgrade of the automotive exhaust ventilation, heating and air conditioning system, upgrades at the Hocutt Building, electronic exterior door locks, additional security cameras, a bus shelter, campus-wide security alarm systems, and various minor projects.

The plan notes that roof replacements will be needed in the near future for the Pine and Magnolia buildings.

A similar meeting between the commissioners' Facilities Committee and the Wayne County Public Schools Facilities committee on the public schools needs has been discussed but not yet scheduled.