By NATALIE VILLARREAL, Ranger Reporter
Amarillo College’s East Campus is growing thanks to donations from the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. The construction on the East Campus began July 11, 2016, said Megan Eikner, dean of technical education. The new additions will include a new diesel bay for the Automotive Building as well as an airplane hangar. “One of the biggest things for us is that we will have additional space for the diesel program that will allow us to apply for our National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation Certification,” Eikner said. This addition will greatly improve the East Campus, according to Eikner. “It will also open doors to more students, since we currently do not have enough room.” They are also planning to build a concrete taxi way and a helicopter pad.
Terry Smith, aviation maintenance program coordinator and instructor, said the new additions will provide a safer learning area for students. “This will offer us a greater opportunity for safety, and provide a more conducive facility for our students.” With the new additions and increased room, Smith said he hopes to enroll veterans who can build upon their military pilot experience. “This will provide them with training for the things that they may or may not have done in the military,” said Smith, adding he is optimistic for the future of the Technical Education Program. “Some of our politicians are starting to see how important the vocational and technical education program is. They are starting to push Technical Education and it’s a great place to start.”
Claudia Arnold, program adviser for East Campus said she is excited about the expansion. “We hope to see more aviation students and more diesel students to grow East Campus for the technical education we want to give to our community,” said Arnold. AC officials say they expect the construction to be completed by the fall of 2017.