By Taryn Wooten
The fenced-off area that has made GTCC’s Jamestown campus a maze to navigate during the past several semesters could end up being the campus’s prized jewel.
Work began in 2019 on a $19.4 million remodel of the Medlin Campus Center. The building had served as a central hub for many student activities and housed student services and administrative offices alike. Since renovations started, the area around Medlin has been surrounded by fencing, and offices have been relocated to other buildings.
Built in 1975, Medlin had many quirks that have left visitors struggling to navigate the building. Before the renovations, the stairwell did not access the ground floor and the elevators were difficult to find. The building also had loading docks attached to it that left students having to maneuver around trucks entering and exiting the building.
The new building will have a staircase that connects all four floors, provide access for wheelchairs, and gives the campus a bright modern look. Mitch Johnson, associate vice president of facility operations and safety, told the Greensboro News and Record, “We want people to come in and say, ‘Wow, we want to be part of this institution.’”
The building will host a vast array of resources for both students and staff members. Among many of these include counseling, testing, the cashier’s office, student clubs and government, and the bookstore. The building will also have an area designated for students to relax, mingle, and study once it is safe to do so.
In order to obtain the highest standard for energy efficiency and quality control, GTCC worked alongside the North Carolina-based Commissioning company Commissioning Worcx. “GTCC has been very conscious of balancing their footprint and overhead cost,” said Lee Huffines, VP of Commissioning Worcx. The efficiency standards that the Medlin building will meet will end up saving the college money in the long run that can be reallocated “to campus beautification, modernizing other buildings, or back into the budget for other projects.”
“We like working with GTCC,” said Huffines. “They have the foresight to develop programs that are geared toward modernizing the American workforce, and these facilities are being built to meet student and employer needs.”
The Medlin remodel will be completed in stages and will be occupied from the first floor up. According to an update from the GTCC President’s Council, student services will return to the building this summer while administrative offices will return in Fall 2021 at the earliest.
Nearby Davis Hall is also undergoing renovations and will be adding a new elevator tower to improve accessibility.