Though the building has been open and in use for more than a year, the general public got its first chance Monday to tour the new Student Services Center on the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.
In partnership with the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, CCC&TI hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a “virtual tour” of the 15,000-square-foot, $5.3 million facility, which was streamed live on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Two previous attempts to host an event celebrating the new building, which opened to students in January 2020, were canceled due to winter weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by the Connect N.C. Bond approved by voters in 2016, construction on the Student Services Center began in fall 2017 and concluded in late 2019. The building opened to students in January 2020.
“We’re excited. This facility transforms this campus,” CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said prior to the tour of the facility. “It brings together all of the support services for students in one location. Previously, those support services were spread out across campus and students had to go to two or three buildings to access those. This is a facility designed with students in mind and to help them be successful.”
Boone Area Chamber President and CEO David Jackson led a tour of the building that highlighted several of the buildings features and included conversations with college officials. The tour highlighted the Library, the Writing Center, the Academic Support Center, the Testing Center, the Academic Advising Center, Career Connections, Student Activities, the 3,000-square-foot Student Commons area and the outdoor seating area with a beautiful view of Grandfather Mountain.
The tour concluded with the official ribbon cutting at the building’s entrance. In addition to college officials and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce staff, Watauga Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeff Welch also participated.