By SALVADOR GUTIERREZ, Staff Reporter ¦
A set of strategies called the master plan is expected to bring change and improvement to facilities at Amarillo College. The team behind the plan is conducting interviews with students, faculty, staff and community members to determine what AC needs to achieve its mission.
“AC is undergoing a master-planning process with architects to figure out space utilization and facility use,” Wesley Condray-Wright, director of communications and marketing, said.
The plan looks at the college’s programs, buildings and use of space and equipment.
“We look at our infrastructure, like air conditioning, to make sure it’s current, so we can plan replacement of equipment so that we always have a comfortable environment,” Steven Smith, vice president of business affairs, said.
Part of the planning process includes reviewing all physical communication components, such as directional signage and space use, according to Kevin Ball, vice president of communications and marketing.
The architecture firm Parkhill, Smith and Cooper will evaluate facilities to determine what buildings and spaces will meet future needs.
Another aspect of the plan is making sure that buildings are compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. Characteristics such as seat height, door opening buttons and light switches will be reviewed. The master plan will also look into other possible changes.
“The board of regents had asked us to look at student housing and to look at athletics as a possibility, and so we will also do feasibility studies to see if that is something that students would support,” Smith said.
Smith said the plan will address the addition of on-campus food options, although this is not a priority.
“We are looking at some opportunities where we might have something like a small convenience store where students can get things like sandwiches, salads, and drinks so they don’t have to leave campus,” he said. Parking issues will be considered as well.
Funding for the master plan comes from AC’s reserves, which are the college’s savings from previous years.
Most of the objectives set forth in the master plan are long-term goals.
“We are really looking at five or 10 years out in the future,” Smith said.
Condray-Wright noted that the master plan just makes recommendations.
“It does not mean that is actually going to happen,” he said.