Enterprise State Community College’s renovations to Talmadge Hall are nearly complete after about a year of hard work.
ESCC President Matt Rodgers toured the virtually complete building with Alabama State Sen. Jimmy Holley, Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker, ACCS Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development Jeff Lynn and Alabama Technology Network Executive Director Keith Phillips on Nov. 26.
ESCC Dean of Student Services Olivier Charles said although the building looks new, one of the biggest changes can only be felt.
“The building is completely refabricated with new HVAC,” Charles said. “Instructors can control it individually from their classrooms and we can also centrally control from a point on campus. We didn’t have that capability before.”
Some of the other renovations include brand new flooring, LED lighting, new paint on the walls of the classroom including an accent wall, state-of-the-art projectors and screens as well as smart podiums.
“Our instructors don’t have to bring their laptop and plug into the system or VGA to teach,” Charles said. “All they have to do is bring their flash drive and they can plug in and they can teach.”
The Connor Gallery in Talmadge was also completely refabricated and Charles said the school plans to create “student study spaces” throughout the building.
“You’ll see a lot of our kids sit in hallways or sit in lobbies of buildings and we’re going to put the type of furniture that will make them want to sit and study,” Charles said, “so really inviting and intuitive furniture.”
He said all that’s really left is to add the furniture, some water fountains and signage to the building.
“Our big goal was to just make this state-of-the-art to give our instructors a first-class teaching facility but to give our students a first-class learning environment as well and I think we accomplished that,” Charles said.
The school is planning to give the instructors who have been displaced during the entire renovation time a bit of a Christmas present.
“Before we leave for Christmas, we want to have them (the instructors) back in here, that’s our goal,” Charles said.
Talmadge holds the English, communications, history and social sciences classes that the school provides. Charles said it is the smallest building by square footage, but one of the highest traffic buildings on campus.
Rodgers said he’s excited for the hall to to be completed.
“The renovations and upgrades to Talmadge Hall and other campus areas affirm that there is nothing more important to us than what takes place in our classrooms,” Rodgers said. “I am proud of the excellent level of instruction here at ESCC and look forward to our current and future students being taught in new and improved classrooms. I appreciate the patience and understanding our faculty, staff, students and community partners have given us over the last few months, as renovations are ongoing. We will continue to make a modern learning environment. We look forward to sharing our progress as we continue to update and renovate both campuses.”
The building will be completed and ready for students coming to ESCC during the spring 2019 semester.
Charles said that this is just the beginning for ESCC renovations. He said the school is currently waiting on designs to be sent back from an architect so the school can start renovating the Sessions and Forrester buildings.
The plan is to then create a new quad for the campus and then focus on renovating the Snuggs building and the student center.
At the Alabama Aviation College Ozark Campus, Charles said the Higham Building will be receiving a new roof and a complete refabricating of the inside of the building.
The Brown Building will also receive a new roof while the Barnett Building will likely get refabricated.
“It’s a lot of projects,” Charles said. “So this (Talmadge Hall) is essentially the first domino in some other projects that we’re kicking off.”