Progress is being made at the N.C. 24 entrance of Sampson Community College.
School officials are reporting that the North Carolina Department of Transportation contractors, Fred Smith, Inc., have begun the process to remove the existing main entrance, which was part of the negotiated agreement with DOT representatives working on the N.C. 24 expansion.
According to Dr. Bill Starling, vice president of academic affairs and administration, the transportation department is responsible for removing and replacing the current entrance roadway. This work is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
“In anticipation of their completion, the Board authorized the administration to complete the design for the new entrance signs and solicit bids for approval,” Starling said.
As part of a $2 billion ConnectNC Public Improvement Bond that passed in Spring 2016, the college has anticipated utilizing the $4.8 million slated for new construction, repairs and renovations at SCC. This includes a proposed campus-wide wayfinding system starting at the campus entrance and landscape and entry marquees at each entrance as well as at the corner of N.C. 24 and Airport Road.
Additionally, the planned construction of a welding and metal fabrication building is moving forward, with final approval of the design expected to soon come from state officials.
“Contracted design work for bond-related construction is anticipated to be through design review by the Office of State Construction after the holidays,” Starling shared.
The new facility is part of the planned renovations, repairs and new construction to be funded from the improvement bond. This building will be 10,000 square feet, with classroom space and a training lab.
According to school officials, the architect firm, JKF Architecture, has worked to made changes to the design based on the comments received from staff and faculty, who have been instrumental in contributing priorities that address the current needs as well as projected growth.
As part of the $2 billion bond, Sampson Community College will receive $4,774,533 for new construction, repairs and renovations. The bond also invests $980 million into the state’s 17 universities and $350 million to the state’s 58 community colleges.
To assist in paying for the construction of the new welding facility, Starling and Sampson Community College Foundation director Lisa Turlington have worked and applied for an Economic Development Administration grant, that would provide matching funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis to support the project. If successful, Turlington said the original bond funds could be recommitted to other capital needs.
If awarded grant support, Starling explained that leftover funds could be utilized to build a truck driving facility if an application specifically for the project was submitted to the EDA in the next fiscal year. NC Connect Bond funds would be used to match EDA funds.
The proposed cost of the welding and metal fabrication facility is $2.3 million. If the grant is approved, the $1.75 million saved would be utilized in other areas at the college.
Future projects include a multi-purpose building that will be adjacent to the Activity Center and serve the Basic Law Enforcement Training needs and offer space for student recreation. The Connect NC Bond funds will assist with this project, and if awarded, the EDA grant will help offset the total cost.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.