By Jesse Wood
Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute is in the planning stages for a new building on the Watauga campus, one estimated to cost $4.5 million at this preliminary juncture.
CCC&TI is paying for the project with the $5.6 million in Connect NC Bond funds it received. This project is the “No. 1 priority” for the institution, CCC&TI President Mark Poarch told the Watauga County Board of Commissioners.
This week, Poarch was before the commissioners seeking a letter of support for the project.
Poarch said that CCC&TI trustees originally wanted to build a 75,000-square-foot building for $25 million. But that idea was scaled down a bit once they realized that the Connect NC Bond wasn’t going to fund that amount.
The two-story, 15,840-square-foot facility is going to be the college’s student services building. Currently, student services for the local CCC&TI are spread throughout the Watauga campus. Once completed, it will house a library, bookstore, business office, academic support and other student services functions.
“The goal of the project is to consolidate student services into one building, which would free up space elsewhere on campus for additional classrooms and other functions,” CCC&TI spokesman Edward Terry said.
The project has yet to be bid and site prep is hoped to begin in the spring once the winter is in the rearview. Construction is estimated to last a year once it begins.