College to build ‘dirty space’ for skilled trades


Photo by Daniel Salomon

Second-year student Bethany Probst is taking a welding class.

Alexandra Radovic, E

The college started raising money this fall to build a new workspace on campus for skilled trade students.

The “dirty space” will be a building whose upper floor holds classroom space, and whose ground floor houses an open lab with multi-functional workspace for students studying HVAC, plumbing, manufacturing, carpentry, electrical engineering, welding or forklift driving.

Its name, Vice President for Learning Mike Gavin said, comes from the fact that it “requires students to use their hands and apply what they learned in the classroom to some sort of industry trade.”

Gavin said the structure will expand and the trade programs will swap different labs in and out of it, depending on how those industries change over time.

“I think it should be pretty great,” Gavin said.

According to AACC Foundation Director Vollie Melson, private individuals, foundations and businesses in the community will donate to fund the project, which will complete in 2021 and cost $4 million.

“This academic year, we’d like to be in the $1.2 to $1.5 million range,” Melson said.

“It’s good for students to have these opportunities,” third-year sociology student Erick Raymond said.

“It’s good for a community college to offer trades so students can learn the skills they need and get experience to find jobs,” 11th- year cyber forensic student Giancarlo Lodevico said.