AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – Amarillo College has announced that six large-scale building renovations and infrastructure upgrades are currently in various stages of progress.
AC said those six projects, including four on the Washington Street campus, included Phase I of a three-phase, multi-year master plan authorized by Amarillo voters’ passage of an 89-bond referendum. , $ 2 million in 2019.
Amarillo College Phase I projects are:
- Renovation of the College Union Building and relocation of the arts department
- Renovation of the Carter Fitness Center to house the athletics department
- Renovation of Russell Hall to accommodate a student service center
- Redevelopment of the downtown campus to accommodate the innovation outpost
- Renovation of the old JC Penny building to create a First Responder Academy at the Sunset Center
- Installation of four new water chillers to power HVAC infrastructure on the Washington Street campus
AC said its master plan has been delayed by the pandemic and shortages caused by disruptions in the global supply chain; however, all six projects are now moving forward, and one is already nearing completion.
“We lost about eight months to COVID, but now we’re gaining momentum across the board,” said Chris Sharp, vice president of business affairs. “We’re back on track and our excitement is growing.
“Of course, we know we’re all going to be inconvenienced in the next year or so. We ask our students, faculty and staff, even our visitors, to be patient with these renovations. Temporary outsourcing of services and fluctuating parking patterns are an inevitable part of the process, ”he said,“ but when the dust finally settles, our community will have a lot to be especially proud of at AC. “
AC said its College Union Building (CUB) will help expand its bookstore inventory and have a new kitchen to enable the cafe to offer a new range of affordable menu items. The basement, AC said, is nearing completion and will become the new headquarters of the arts department in November, moving from its long-standing location at Russell Hall.
Also in November, AC announced that the Russell Hall renovation process would begin. The remodel, designed by Dekker Architects, Perich & Sabatini, and led by Western Builders, will transform Russell Hall into a new enrollment center and contain all student services – from financial aid and testing services to services academic counseling and disability.
“We want this to serve as the ‘gateway’ to our college,” Sharp said. “This will provide us with an exceptional client-focused environment where everything students need to start AC is in one convenient location. It will be a great resource for our community. The project is expected to last around a year, he said.
Another ongoing renovation, also overseen by Western Builders, is the Carter Fitness Center. Amarillo College said it was an $ 11.3 million effort designed to meet both the college’s fitness needs and aimed to return to competitive inter-varsity sports.
Another ongoing project is a major upgrade to the cooling plant that powers heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) throughout the campus. AC said four new water coolers will be installed in the parking lot between the science lab building and the Amarillo Art Museum, replacing the 35-year-old system under Parcells Hall.
Other Phase I projects include establishing an Innovation Outpost and the First Responders Academy at the Sunset Center.
“Our emergency services programs are currently spread across multiple campuses and we’ve been working to bring them together under one roof for some time,” said Sharp. “This will be a state-of-the-art facility where we can optimally train first responders who will serve communities across the Texas Panhandle and beyond for generations to come.”