South Plains College announced plans yesterday to purchase a 70,000 square foot facility at 3907 Ave. Q in Lubbock that will be renovated into a new South Plains College Lubbock Center.
The college also announced financial commitments totaling $9.9 Million from the Helen Jones Foundation, The CH Foundation and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance that will be used to renovate and equip 45,000 square feet of the new educational center in a Phase I project.
“We are extremely grateful for the support from these community partners,” said Dr. Kelvin Sharp, president of South Plains College. “This initiative will create many opportunities for South Plains College students and the citizens of Lubbock to access a comprehensive community college program within the City of Lubbock. It will also greatly enhance our ability and capacity to address the workforce training needs of local business and industry and contribute substantially to Lubbock’s economic development initiatives.”
SPC will relocate its nine career and technical education programs housed at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center to the new location allowing Lubbock ISD to expand its career and technical programs in response to HB5 reforms. Both SPC and Lubbock ISD programs at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center have outgrown the center’s available instructional space.
Additionally, South Plains College will partner with Group 1 Auto and other area auto dealers to explore the creation of a regional industry certified auto technician training center.
Renovation costs of the building have been estimated by BGR Architects of Lubbock and McCutchin Construction of Levelland to be approximately $7 Million. The Helen Jones Foundation has pledged $4 Million and The CH Foundation, the remaining $3 Million to fund renovation of the building into a state-of-the-art educational and training center.
South Plains College currently leases approximately 36,000 square feet of instructional space in the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center. The 45,000 sq. feet of renovation planned for the new center will allow SPC’s nine career and technology programs to expand. These programs include automotive technology, industrial manufacturing/emerging technologies, computer information systems, office technology, accounting associate, business management, real estate, paralegal studies, fire technology, general education academic coursework and workforce development.
“This new facility will not only allow us to expand our workforce development efforts in Lubbock but will also allow us to strengthen our dual credit CTE pathways with Lubbock ISD and other Lubbock County school districts,” Dr. Sharp said. “This location gives South Plains College a solid footprint in Lubbock.”
The college is planning to open the center in early 2017. Dr. Sharp told hundreds gathered for the announcement Tuesday, “we are proud to be Lubbock’s Community College.”