By Jenna Gibson:
Amarillo College would not be the same without some construction. This summer, staff at AC’s Medi Park Campus and AC’s East Campus have been working diligently to prepare for fall.
A new diesel bay has been built to accommodate space for large construction and agriculture equipment. The facility will be used to train students in all aspects of the heavy equipment industries, focusing heavily in the area of hydraulics. “This will serve most of our industry partners that have been asking for our students to have hydraulics training such as the two John Deere Companies here in Amarillo, YellowHouse and Western Equipment. Both hire our students,” Brian Jacob, automotive program coordinator, said.
Along with the new diesel bay, a 7,900-square-foot hangar has been constructed for aviation training, which was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation. “When the students left in May the new building was close to completion and they were very excited to see it being built and having the additional lab space to work in,” Jacob said. Students will begin training in the new space at East Campus when classes start August 21.
The Hagy Center for Young Children at AC’s new Medi Park Campus also underwent renovations over the summer. The center will serve approximately 80 children, from eight-week-old babies up to four-year-olds and there is already a waiting list for available spots. The facility will provide childcare for AC students’ children and for people employed in the Medi Park area. It will also serve as a lab space for AC students to receive hands-on experience in managing a childcare facility.
“The Hagy Center for Young Children will extend opportunities for our students to learn about the management of child care facilities.” said Mary Clare Munger, education department chair. One of the main goals of the center is to prepare children to be school ready by focusing on science and math skills and creating a learning environment that exposes the children to the natural world. The education department received a grant to help fund curriculum design.
Munger said the center will open early, close late and offer flexible scheduling to accommodate students taking clinical classes. AC’s child development and education programs will continue to operate the Child Development Lab School on the West Campus along with the new center.