The Carlton Center will be renovated to have all student resources in one building. These services and facilities include the Office of Financial Aid, Academic Achievement Center, Baldwin Library and The Stallion Shop. The first floor will have a café section available, and students can also look forward to the return of the on-campus Starbucks. Having all these facilities consolidated into one location will make it much more convenient for students.
The new Fine Arts Building will provide students with equipment, space and resources they’ve never had access to before. The building will consist of two stories. The first will have large practice rooms for both the band and concert choir. The second floor will have spacious art labs where students can paint, use computers and show off their artwork.
Music students will be able to utilize sound-proof practice rooms. These rooms will come in a variety of sizes. Some will be perfect for individuals, while others will be fit for small group rehearsals. These buildings will come with new furnishing and are scheduled to be completed by fall of next year.
While you can see the actual construction happening on campus, there is much more to the process. These projects have been in the making for over a year. Projects such as these wouldn’t be possible without Director of Capital Planning, Melvin Merrill and Director of Facilities and Land Resources, Tim Carpenter.
Together, they are responsible for overseeing the construction as it moves along. During an interview, Merrill and Carpenter explained the in-depth process of how the construction on ABAC’s campus came to be.
The process began with Merrill and Carpenter assembling a proposal. This proposal included fine details of what they want from the project, how big it will be and the estimated cost. The paperwork is then sent off for a long process of approval to determine if it meets certain criteria. If the project is approved, plans are then made of the construction. They include intricate details of every part of the building.
During the interview, Carpenter explained that they include where every individual screw would go on a single beam. These plans are in Merrill’s office, and they are so thick that it’s difficult for one person to lift them.
Throughout the process, they both continually meet with architects. As the construction progresses, they stay in contact with faculty and staff to ask what they feel their new spaces will need. Then they consider that information as the spaces are being constructed.
“Capital planning is not looking at just today, but five years from now,” said Melvin, “It takes four to five years to get a project from conception to a building ready for move-in.”
During the presidency of Dr. David Bridges, there have been several projects that have led to the growth of ABAC’s campus. Each of these projects has been a direct result of the increase in enrollment, along with the expansion of the curriculum offered.
Since the Lab Science Building was built, biology and science students now have greater access to resources to help them further their education. The nursing program has grown vastly since the creation of the Nursing Building.
There is a correlation between the physical expansion of ABAC and the growth of students and educational opportunities. The new Fine Arts Building brings excitement for the future of Fine Arts at ABAC.