Gateway To Dedicate Award-Winning Center For Advanced Manufacturing Friday

Gateway Community and Technical College is throwing open the doors of its new Center for Advanced Manufacturing and inviting the public to take a look at this award-winning, high-tech training space. The grand opening is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 29, with dedication ceremonies beginning at 10 a.m. in the new facility at the colleges Boone Campus, 500 Technology Way, Florence.

We have plenty of parking and plenty of space, and we hope many people will join us to see what the future of manufacturing education looks like, said G. Edward Hughes, Gateway president/CEO.

The center was completed this past summer and opened for classes in August. Earlier this month, the Kentucky chapter of American Institute of Architects bestowed an Award of Merit for excellence in architectural design to the buildings designer, Omni Architects of Lexington, Michael Jacobs, principal architect.

The facility houses 16 general classrooms and special high-tech laboratories equipped to teach leading-edge manufacturing processes in a variety of disciplines including mechatronics, robotics, electrical technology, industrial maintenance and welding.

The center also contains an array of services to support the business community as well as students. An Assessment Center offers more than 10,000 tests a year for professional licensing and certification, as well as high-stakes tests such as the Graduate Record Exam, the Law School Admissions Test, the ethics portion of the bar exam, and many others. A new Career/Transfer Center helps students explore careers, determine the major that best suits their interests and abilities, and helps them plan to transfer to a four-year university after completing an associate degree at Gateway.

The center has enabled Gateway to expand student services at the Boone Campus, which now offers full array of student services, from admissions and enrollment to financial aid counseling, academic advising and disability services.

Built by Quantum Construction, the center includes a variety of sustainable features, including the use of low-e insulated, fritted glass and exterior sun shades on the south faade to reduce cooling demands. Light wells dot the interior to bring natural light into the building. Building systems incorporated by Paladin, Inc. offer such energy saving strategies as energy recovery from lab exhaust systems, time of day scheduling for heating, cooling and lighting, and use of high-efficient, direct-drive air distribution fans.

The site has been master planned in partnership with M2D Design Group for future development at the Boone Campus. The $28.5 million project, funded by the Kentucky General Assembly, also included a separate bookstore and maintenance facility, a new entrance to parking and 250 additional spaces, Phase 1 of a campus loop road and landscaping. The second phase of the roadway system has been funded and will provide additional parking, curbs and improved lighting when complete.

The only way to really appreciate all of the benefits the center offers our region is to see it, Hughes added. Anyone interested in higher education or the future of manufacturing is welcome to attend.