Ongoing support from the Aiken County legislative delegation is making it possible for Aiken Technical College to improve its facilities and provide high quality training for the region’s future workforce. Over $3 million dollars in allocations for capital improvements have been designated for the college in the last two years.
A one-time $2.445 million state budget allocation approved in the fall 2012 legislative session brought Aiken Tech closer to construction of the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing, and in the most recent legislative session, a $640,000 allocation was approved for renovation of the college’s 300 Building, a structure that has not been significantly renovated since its construction in the early 1970s. “We recognize that these are difficult economic times, and we are extremely grateful to our Aiken County legislative delegation for recognizing that an investment in the college will draw businesses to our region and help prepare our citizens for well-paying jobs,” said Aiken Tech President Dr. Susan Winsor. “While Aiken Technical College has excelled at using resources efficiently, partnered with local industry and provided excellent academic programs for our students, we lack enough classroom space to meet the expectations of employers for our role in the development of the area’s workforce pipeline.”
The $2.445 million allocation received in 2012 will support construction of the $8.5 million Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing that will house the college’s radiation protection technology, welding, mechatronics and nuclear quality systems programs. The college has raised more than $1.68 million in community and industry support through its Putting Knowledge to Work capital campaign to match a $2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant.
Private contributions from local employers and individuals are being pursued to complete the remainder of the estimated construction and equipment costs.
The $640,000 allocation in this year’s budget will allow for renovation of the college’s 300 Building, providing additional academic space primarily for courses that support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. The 300 Building once housed admissions, financial aid, and the college’s advising center. Those services moved into a new Enrollment Services Center in a renovated campus building earlier this year.