RICHMOND, TEXAS – Elected state, county and city officials recently gathered at Wharton County Junior College’s (WCJC) Richmond campus to formally break ground on a $1.75 million construction project.
The Richmond project entails renovating 9,000 square feet of space and building a new 3,600 square foot wing in order to expand the Cosmetology and Process Technology programs. Abel Design Group, Ltd. is the architect for the project, and has been working with the WCJC since 2015. Rosenberg-based Bass Construction Co. will construct the project. Expected completion date for this project is fall of 2017.
Through the project, Cosmetology will be offered for the first time in years at the Richmond campus. Currently, the program is housed exclusively at the Wharton campus. Cutting-edge equipment, a spacious salon and extra classroom space will allow the program to accommodate 60 new students.
Process Technology is based at the Bay City campus, but began offering classes in Richmond last year. Once the expansion project is completed, the program will be able to accommodate more students and offer additional training opportunities. The project includes the construction of a computer lab, an open lab, additional classroom space, a turbine generator, and distillation and neutralization skids.
“Wharton County Junior College has a clear vision for growth and serving the greater community, and Abel Design Group is honored to help them (WCJC) meet their goals,” stated Dare Lovett, Abel Design Group Principal and Director of Architecture. “By re-developing existing real estate assets, they can expand their course offering to the whole region.”
The groundbreaking ceremony drew a large crowd that included elected officials, school district representatives, WCJC Board of Trustees members, college employees and staff, students and media representatives. Guest speakers included District 28 State Rep. John Zerwas, District 85 State Rep. Phil Stephenson, City of Richmond Mayor Pro Tem Barry Beard and WCJC Board of Trustees Chairman Danny Gertson.
Guests were greeted by WCJC President Betty McCrohan, who thanked those in attendance for their ongoing support and noted that the groundbreaking is just one part of a larger, comprehensive improvement project.
“The Richmond campus renovation and expansion project is only the first stage of a revitalization plan on this campus,” WCJC President Betty McCrohan McCrohan said. “The college’s master plan also includes a new health professions building, a student pavilion and refurbishment of the original building. This project offers another opportunity for us to serve the community.”
About Abel Design Group
Founded in Houston, Texas in 2001, Abel Design Group is a premiere architecture and interior design firm specializing in corporate, hospitality, higher education, restaurant, and retail design, nationally and internationally. Abel Design Group received several 2016 award wins – Interior Design Magazine Rising Giants for the sixth consecutive year, the Houston Business Journal Fast 100 for the fourth consecutive year, the Houston Business Journal Best Places to Work for the second consecutive year, and the American Institute of Architects 2016 Interior Design Award.