By EVAN STATON
As the semester nears the end, work is beginning on a nearly $90 million construction bond that has kick-started a large number of projects and opened new ground for expansion at Amarillo College campuses.
Over the next few years, AC can expect new buildings, renovations, and upgrades as part of what is called the Master Plan. “Many improvements to accommodate people with disabilities have been addressed at all our campuses,” said Joe Wyatt, AC communications coordinator.
“The college also has selected architects and management teams for renovation projects at Russell Hall, Carter Fitness Center, and at the Downtown Campus, which is now known as the Innovation Outpost,” he said. A portion of the bond will be used to restore and update older buildings, said Wyatt.
As the college grows in enrollment and expands in its departments, the buildings will need updating to accommodate the future students and staff. Wyatt said the college has also hired someone to coordinate the projects. Danny Smith was chosen to be the master plan program manager in February.
“At the time I was hired, five projects had already been through the architect selection process, but no design was being performed except on the innovation outpost,” Smith said.
In addition to the Innovation Outpost, which will house the new School of Cinematic Arts, the following projects are now active: Carter Fitness Center improvements, Student Service Center “HUB” renovation and addition, the First Responders Academy, and HVAC infrastructure replacement.
“These projects represent over $44 million of the Master Plant Project total of $90 million,” Smith said. The college will be holding informational Zoom meetings about the Master Plan to give students a chance to share their opinions. Each phase of the plan will have its own meeting where there will be an open discussion about details, goals, and construction schedules.