With hard hats and shovels ceremoniously delivered by retired auto tech instructor Ron Domingos in his restored 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport, college officials and community friends broke ground July 17 on the $24.7 million Industrial Technology Complex.
More than 35,000 square feet of shiny new labs, classrooms and offices will greet industrial technology students come spring 2014, and the new complex will consolidate all department disciplines and provide new labs, classrooms and administrative spaces.
Elizabeth Miller, Ed.D., Allan Hancock College’s interim superintendent/president, welcomed attendees and introduced guest speakers, including Larry Lahr, vice president of the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees; Luis Sanchez, vice president, academic affairs; and Eric Mason, auto body instructor and recently-appointed industrial technology department chair.
“As many of you know, industrial technology and the other career technical education programs we offer are an integral part of the success of Hancock and its students,” said Miller. “We have a long history of hands-on training. This campus, and a few of the buildings you still see here, were once the Hancock College of Aeronautics in the ‘30s and ‘40s. They trained pilots and Santa Maria Junior College (now Allan Hancock College) trained airplane mechanics. We’ve come a long way since then. But the reality is, some of our facilities still need to catch up. With the passage of Measure I in 2006, Allan Hancock College was given an incredible opportunity to move our teaching and learning facilities into the 21st century.”
Two new buildings will be added to the Industrial Technology facility. They will be constructed where the running track is now, directly south of the existing building. As a result of the new construction, a synthetic track, as well as baseball and soccer fields, will be rebuilt in adjacent locations, with the baseball field moving across College Drive.
The new complex will provide cutting-edge lab and classroom spaces for the college’s industrial technology disciplines: architectural drafting, electronics, viticulture/enology and automotive, auto body, engineering, welding and machining & manufacturing technologies.
Students will benefit from enhanced learning spaces and equipment, for example, new, heated paint booths for auto body technology; a welding lab to accommodate 40 work stations and two classes; and a climate controlled enology lab & cold storage.
Bond Measure I was passed by the electorate to support facility and technology improvements at Allan Hancock College.