The pungent smell of tar wafting through the air… the ear-piercing sounds of the pavement being torn up… the inconvenient detours and inaccessible routes… these familiarities are no more.
The construction of the Washington Street Campus Mall and the Ware Student Commons have come to a close, bringing to an end nearly a decade of building and renovation on that campus. We, the Ranger Staff, would like to take the time to appreciate the new amenities and thank those who made them possible.
What used to be dirt and ground-up pavement is now a thing of the past– trees, benches, and fresh pavement have replaced the construction zone–making the center of campus both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The final Washington Street Campus projects were the second floor of the College Union Building, the Ware Student Commons and the Mall. Now every building on this campus (with the exception of the historic Ordway Hall) has been drastically renovated and new facilities have been built.
The Ware Student Commons now houses services that offer students greater opportunities for success. Readily available on the beautifully reconstructed first floor are many conveniently located resources. From the student food pantry and clothing closet to the new tutoring center, everything has been redesigned around the goal of student success.
The 2007 bond issue and a series of generous private donations have made dramatic changes possible. Now the East Campus will is getting a new aviation hangar and an addition to the Transportation Center thanks to donations from the Harrington Foundation and the AEDC. Throughout our campuses, we as students have benefited from the support our community has provided Amarillo College. In turn, we will receive the education and training we need to give back to our community.
The Ware Family, the W.P. Buckthal family, the Oeschger family all made donations that transformed the heart of the Washington Street Campus and the voters that passed the 2007 bond issue gave us the numerous other changes we have seen throughout the years.
Furthermore, along with the architects and contractors who have swarmed across our campuses, numerous AC employees have worked countless overtime hours painting, cleaning and installing wiring and technology to ensure our classrooms, labs and public spaces are ready to meet our needs.
So as you admire the new facilities, take some time to read the names of the generous donors and appreciate their contributions. Stop and reflect on how fortunate we are to attend classes at AC. Finally, be sure to take care of our new facilities so they can serve students for many years.
At first, you may not recognize the Washington Street Campus without the sound of jackhammers, the piles of dirt and the chicken wire fences… but you’ll get used to it. And, if you feel homesick for the construction, just head east.