College President Randall Peters said the upcoming ribbon cutting for the building will give residents a chance see what the new campus has to offer.
The new building, called the Henry County Center, is about 35,000 square feet and cost about $8 million to construct, but it is just the first of eight planned buildings on the 25-acre campus donated by the county school board in 2009.
While classes are in session for the school’s summer soft opening, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m., will honor the legislative delegation, local city and county government officials and others who helped bring the college to the county.
It will also give residents a chance to tour the building during an open house.
Peters said attendees will be able to check out some of the classrooms, many equipped with state-of-the-art computers, software and simulation equipment, and talk to faculty and staff about what programs will be offered.
Parking for the event will be at Henry County High School, 401 Tomlinson St., with shuttles departing for the event at 8:45 a.m.
Anna Taylor, college director of marketing, said the college formed in 2010 with a merger of Flint River Technical College in Thomaston and Griffin Technical College in Griffin.
Its other five campuses include locations in Butts, Jasper and Taylor counties.
“Each of our technical colleges exists in a service area and currently, we serve nine counties in the south Atlanta region, but students can come from outside of those counties to take the courses we offer, of course,” she said.
So far, the college offers associate degrees in concentrations like Cisco networking, criminal justice, business administration and allied health.
It also offers general required courses like math, English and science, which are transferable to most universities in the state, and GED adult education courses.
“We have a significant portion of our student community that are attempting college for the first time in their family’s history and all of our research tells us that in order to be employed in career-oriented jobs, that employee needs job skills,” Peters said.
Beginning this fall, the college will offer logistics management courses because, Peters said, businesses in the county have expressed a need for employees with degrees in transportation logistics.
“The local economy directly depends on people living and working here to have those skills so they can hire those folks,” he said. “Ideally, a student attends high school here, graduates, gains job skills, gets a career in the county and stays here while enhancing the local economy the whole time.”
Peters said the campus, which features special classrooms with computer, medical and science equipment, was designed for expansion according to the skills local businesses seek when hiring.
“Our focus is to provide skills that local employers are looking for and that is why we go out in the community and talk to employers,” he said. “The building is designed to be redesigned and it was built so that interior walls can be removed and changed according to what classrooms and skills are needed in the future.”