Published: Apr 30, 2008 12:45 PM
Modified: Apr 30, 2008 06:22 AM
HILLSBOROUGH -- The school bell is ringing at the Orange County campus of Durham Technical Community College.
The new extension will open for classes this summer, offering emergency medical technology, a Spanish immersion course, computer courses and photography, among other classes.
In the fall, the campus will offer even more, including college transfer courses, art history, Spanish and several early childhood education courses.
The campus is the first building to be completed in the new Waterstone mixed-use development, located just north of Interstate 40, between N.C. 86 and Old N.C. 86.
"So far, the reception has been very warm," said Dina Logan, director of the Orange County campus. "We can be a flagship to get other businesses here. We want to be that economic and workforce development partner."
Durham Tech has been offering classes in Orange County for around 20 years. Right now, the community college offers 40 classes scattered around the county, teaching between 2,500 and 3,000 county residents a year. That's almost one quarter of Durham Tech's students.
Some courses will remain where they are taught, Logan said, such as English as a Second Language classes taught in Chapel Hill and GED courses taught at Joblinks on Franklin Street.
The campus will start off with courses mostly geared toward health care, sciences and criminal justice programs. It will build up to offering a full two-year program, Logan said.
The new building features state-of-the-art labs for anatomy and physiology, including sinks with hooded ventilation and connections for laptops on the dissecting tables. It also has a large flexible space room with a garage door that can be used for as an ambulance bay or to bring in large artwork or heavy equipment for an art class. Most of the classrooms are designed for 30 to 60 students.
The college's administration is very proud of the green building features in the new 40,000-square-foot structure, including:
- Sensors on classroom lights that automatically turn them off when the room is empty;
- Aluminum light shelves outside west-facing windows to filter natural light into the classrooms;
- Photovoltaic systems; and
- 10,000-gallon rainwater collection system for flushing toilets.
For more information about Durham Technical Community College, go to hwww.durhamtech.edu/