TEXARKANA, Texas -- Texarkana College officials broke ground on the McCulloch Industrial Technology Center on Tuesday morning, a $1 million facility that will expand existing workforce programs and add new technical training programs.
"Texarkana College is already the value leader of technical and academic programs in our region, offering more than 40 programs that prepare students to directly enter the workforce or transfer for a bachelor's degree," TC President Dr. Jason Smith said. "The addition of the new McCulloch Industrial Technology Center will bring added value to TC and great opportunity for our students and our region's employers."
Smith thanked the McCulloch family for their dedication to the college.
Buddy McCulloch, president of Wholesale Electric Supply, and his son Chris, vice president, were both present and spoke during the event.
"When discussing with contractors, the most common thing we hear is that they have more work than people to do the work," Chris McCulloch said. "We hope this can provide relief for that. This is one of the best industries you can be in. There will always be a need for it, and this will be a state-of-the-art facility that will produce the very best in this industry."
The estimated cost of the project will be $70 per square foot, according to TC Director of Facilities Rick Boyette. The building is projected to have more than 15,000 square feet of instructional space.
This brings the estimated cost to approximately $1,050,000, plus however much the new data center and storage space will add.
The McCulloch family has made a large donation to the college to help pay for the project.
Boyette said the project should take around 10 months to complete and will be completed in house. He will be the general contractor and there will be no outsourcing.
The center will provide new training facilities for TC's Electrical Technology and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration (HVAC) programs.
In addition, the facility will accommodate a state-of-the-art data center. One of the highly-anticipated technical training programs expected to be added is a plumbing program.
VP of operations Brandon Washington said this will provide more opportunities to add to the college's already-successful workforce programs.
"With this contribution to the college and the community, we have the ability to focus efforts on enhancing, not only certificate programs, but apprenticeship models," Washington said. "We've already been working to seek approval through the (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation) to start the electrical apprenticeship program that will be housed here. This is in addition to our HVAC Technology program that will also be housed here.
"In these programs, the college has experienced success with graduation rates and job placement rates. We are seeing 90%-plus job placement rates before graduation of these programs."