CCC&TI Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for Watauga’s New Student Services Center | Watauga

BOONE — After groundbreaking in 2017 and opening in early 2020, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s new Student Services Center on the Watauga campus had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 22.

Due to bad weather and COVID-19 in the past, this was the third – and successful – attempt to officially open the center.

The 15,000 square foot building consolidated many student services into one location. Services now available in the building include tutoring, admissions, counseling, bookstore, business office, counseling, financial aid, a library, testing center, and writing center.

The building was completed in 2019 and opened to students in early 2020, but was restricted once COVID-19 hit three months later.

“To finally be able to show the community this facility is a monumental day for us,” said CCC&TI President Mark Poarch. “We’re certainly looking forward to having some sort of in-person open house event where people can come and walk around the building and see it for themselves and experience the building in its entirety.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony began with a live tour of the building hosted by David Jackson, President and CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t think the photos do it justice in terms of the view and surroundings of campus,” Poarch said. “It’s just a wonderful facility. We just can’t wait for the community to come here in person and experience it.

The new student services building includes a library which, outside of COVID-19, is open to the public through community patron status.

The main hall of the Student Services Center includes the Testing Center which, among other things, conducts licensing tests, admissions tests, and high school equivalency tests. Across the hall are the academic councils and financial aid and counseling offices.

Jackson joked during the tour that a person can come and take all the necessary tests, get supported financial aid, and get supported advice or counseling in one hallway.

The biggest attraction of the new center for Poarch is the student center lounge.

“We didn’t have that on this campus before this facility was built,” Poarch said. “What we would see is students waiting before class, after class, or between classes, sitting on a bench in a hallway or sitting on the floor somewhere having lunch or studying. Now they have a place to go and a place to hang out. It creates a different atmosphere on this campus that was really lacking in recent years.

The student lounge is a large, open-concept room with many windows offering views of Grandfather Mountain. Outside of the living room is a porch with rocking chairs that also overlooks Grandfather Mountain as well as a beautiful sunset view.

The living room is also a space that community organizations could potentially use for meetings or events.

Jackson said that once the space is talked about, he thinks it will be very popular among the community.

“This type of facility makes this campus here in Watauga County much more marketable for students, and hopefully it will lead to more students here on this campus enrolling in programs that will benefit the economic situation. overall,” Jackson said. “It was a strategically constructed building and it shows that.”