AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - Aiken Technical College has started construction on the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing, a state-of-the-art facility that will be a training center for developing Aiken County's nuclear and manufacturing workforce.
The new, 36,000-square foot facility will house the college's advanced manufacturing, welding, radiation protection technology and nuclear quality systems programs.
Aiken Technical College selected Augusta-based firm R.W. Allen as the new building's contractor after bidding process. R.W. Allen operates in six states and focuses on highly specialized commercial construction projects.
Construction began on the new facility this week, following last month's ceremonial groundbreaking. The new building, which was designed by Greenville-based architect McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, is slated for completion in late summer 2015.
The new, $8.5 million facility will contain bays (labs), classrooms, a multi-use training space and faculty offices. The building's flexible design will allow for easy changeover between spaces to accommodate evolving training needs in the future.
ATC has received financial support from legislative, community, and industry partners to make the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing a reality. In 2012, ATC received a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The grant required $2 million in matching funds from outside sources, and the ATC Foundation developed the Putting Knowledge to Work capital campaign to help raise this amount. So far, the college has reached approximately 98 percent of this goal.
In addition to the Putting Knowledge to Work campaign, ATC received support from the Aiken County Legislative delegation through a $2.445 million allocation secured for the new facility during the 2012 legislative session.