Construction of CVCC arts center lagging behind schedule

Chattahoochee Valley Community College’s new Instructional and Performing Arts Center is nearing completion and on schedule to be open for classes in January, but won’t be finished next month as previously planned.

“We don’t expect to be done in a month, that was our original date,” CVCC President Laurel Blackwell said, adding there have been delays. “That timeline isn’t going to come to fruition.”

She said officials have been unable to stick to the original timetable because of extensive utilities work at the site and heavy rain last summer. Still, Blackwell said the building will be functional next semester and work is entering the home stretch.

Officials recently ordered furniture for the building and started laying carpet, she said. Some areas of the building already have air conditioning and landscaping is expected to begin soon.

The new building, which will double instructional space on campus, is the first instructional facility built in about 30 years. The college broke ground on the building in May 2009.

It will add 60,000 square feet that includes a 400-seat auditorium with 3-D capacity and plenty of additional classroom space. The $11 million, three-story building will house CVCC’s language, business, social sciences and technology, and health sciences programs.

Blackwell said she is currently finalizing a faculty move date and grand opening.

Once the new building is in use, Blackwell said it will also free up space at the college that will likely be used for work force development programs. She said many of those programs have been created but don’t have the necessary space. They will now have a chance to “spread out and grow,” she said.

“It will give them a chance to co-locate and expand,” Blackwell said. “It will give us a chance to bring our Ready to Work initiative onto campus. Right now, it’s off site.”

The available space will also give programs, such as the Customer Service Academy, it’s own place at the college.Blackwell said the completion of the building is an important milestone for the school because it will not only add a new state of the art facility, but will also provide room for growing programs.

“I’m filled with excitement to see that come to fruition for this campus,” she said.