McLennan Community College business and technology students may have new space for their studies in two years with McLennan Community College board members giving the green light this week to a $7 million renovation of the college’s Business and Technology Building.
The renovation would put the school’s business and technology offerings under one roof, freeing up classrooms and faculty offices in the Michaelis Academic Center for use by Tarleton State University and Texas Tech University adjuncts in the University Center.
The building upgrade includes 14 classrooms, 30 offices, eight offices for adjuncts, two laboratories, three work-study rooms for students, three staff-faculty workrooms, and restroom facilities, including one family restroom.
It is the first major renovation of the Business and Technology Building since its construction in 1968, and the renovated space would serve MCC’s largest academic program, the Business & Industry Pathway, which has some 900 students.
When completed, the Business and Technology Building will house classes in accounting, business management, marketing, economics, computer information systems and multimedia, health information technology, real estate, hospitality management, media communications and marketing, office technology and supply chain & operations management.
Board members approved the building renovation in their meeting Tuesday, along with a plan to finance the work through bonds paid back over 15 years through the college’s Capital Improvement Fund. The bonds will not require a change to the college’s property tax rate.
MCC President Johnette McKown said the renovation project is a sensible way to meet the college’s need for space and cover needed Business and Technology Building repairs.
McKown said regardless of the larger renovation, the building would need more than $1.5 million in improvements over the next five years, including roof replacement, HVAC and lighting systems, ADA-compliant restrooms and elevator modernization.
“This will be a much more efficient use of an under-utilized building,” she said.
When the Business and Technology Building opened to students 50 years ago, typing classes were part of the curriculum and computer classes used punch cards, McKown said.
The projected cost presented by RBDR Architects at the meeting included $5,703,000 for construction and renovation; $477,000 for soft costs including fees, surveying and testing; $650,000 for furniture; $100,000 for asbestos abatement; and $70,000 to upgrade the elevator.
Board members will vote in February on authorizing the revenue bonds. If the bonds are approved, construction is expected to start in late May with completion anticipated by the summer of 2020.
“We try to build for the future, but you won’t see anything fancy,” McKown said.