Alamance Community College on Friday, April 29, hosted a beam-signing ceremony to celebrate the commencement of the final stage of construction of the college’s new Student Services Center, set to open in fall 2022. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting to commemorate the renovation of six spaces on campus was also held. 

The new, two-story, 12,203 square-foot Student Services Center will sit adjacent to the current main building on campus and serve as the college’s “front door.” The center will house ACC’s admissions and financial aid departments, the office of the registrar and the office of the Vice President for Student Success all under the same roof. 

The newly renovated campus spaces include the Student Commons area, Emergency Management Services classrooms and labs, Culinary Industrial Production Kitchen and Dining Room, Print Center, Early College and the Agricultural-Sciences Building. 

A variety of state and local officials attended the ceremony, including Alamance County Commissioners John Paisley and Steve Carter, State Senator Amy Galey and NC Community College System President Thomas Stith, III. Much of the ACC Board of Trustees was in attendance as well.

ACC President, Dr. Algie Gatewood, opened the ceremony. “Both of these events today should serve as a reminder of what our community college is all about. And that is hope, profit opportunity, jobs and, of course, the economic prosperity of our county,” he said.

Gatewood went to explain what the new Student Services Center will mean for both the college and the community at large.

“The Student Services [Center] represents our college’s strategic commitment to meeting the needs of balance of the current and returning students we are enrolling here,” he said. “Our goal in constructing this building is to make it a one-stop center for onboarding students and improving the effectiveness of the enrollment process, admissions, financial aid, registration and records.”

ACC Board of Trustee Chair Dr. Roslyn Crisp spoke next, noting that the new Student Services Center is the culmination of years of dreams and that she is proud to be a part of a board that “believes in growth and making our college campus for students and entire families to receive education.”

“We’ll make the student experience much more accessible with this one stop shop at the front of our campus, the Student Services Building and invest the dreams of past, present and future students, educators and the college’s trustees,” Crisp said. “For many years, this college and his board have recognized that our students should have a hub at the front of the campus entrance where they can receive assistance.”

Stith spoke, noting that ACC contributed $150 million in wages into the Alamance County economy last year. “So, when we think about the community college system, and most specifically ACC, it’s making a significant impact in the lives of the people that you serve, your students, but as importantly in the communities that you serve,” he said.

“The student center will serve as a hub, a foundational building for your students,” Stith continued. “Whether it’s registration, whether it’s financial aid, it’s providing the support for your students to have that foundation as they move forward in their curriculum here at ACC and, as importantly, as they move to provide that fuel for the job engine in the state.”

Next up was Senator Amy Galey, who started by thanking the Alamance County citizens, who had the foresight to address the college’s needs by voting in favor of the 2017 bond referendum which allowed the new student center and other campus renovations to happen.

Galey added that since Alamance County is experiencing rapid growth, it’s important for the county’s education systems – both K-12 and the community college – are equipped to continue to provide high quality education to all citizens. The new Student Services Center will ensure just that, she said.

Alamance County Board of Commissioners Chair John Paisley spoke next, who noted the giant leaps ACC has taken since its conception as the Technical College of Alamance in 1958.

Paisley also praised the college’s Early College program and how the Student Services Center will help improve that program. “What a wonderful thing, coming out of high school with an associate degree and as a junior entering college,” he said.

ACC Director of Enrollment Management Elizabeth Brehler spoke next, thanking all who made the construction of the new student center possible.

“On behalf of the student success division at Alamance Community College, I again want to thank the citizens of Alamance County, the county commissioners, the ACC Board of Trustees and of course Dr. Gatewood and his administration for making these mini projects possible,” Brehler said. “It indeed shows the commitment to education in our community and will certainly help us advance the mission of the institution in future years.”

The Student Services Center is set to be completed around December of this year. The Mebane Enterprise will provide updates on the center as they are made available.