Media tour Eastern Gateway Community College’s new Valley Center

By Denise Dick


The new quarters of Eastern Gateway Community College’s Valley Center will be ready for the Aug. 20 start of fall classes.

College officials and architect Michael Fagan of Olsavsky Jaminet Architects Inc., the architects on the project, led a news media tour Wednesday of the new facility inside the Plaza Building, 101 Federal Plaza East.

Fagan said work is broken into phases with the first and most extensive phase to be completed by Aug. 15.

“We’ll have eight classrooms and computer labs,” Fagan said.

Ann Koon, EGCC spokeswoman, said all of the rooms will be equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment, wi-fi internet access and other technology.

The first phase also includes what the college terms an information commons area that will provide students with access to computers and media resources.

The second quadrant of the building, expected to open later this fall, will include student services like admissions, financial aid, advising and tutoring.

In the meantime, those facilities are on the fourth floor of Choffin Career and Technical Center on Wood Street.

Other plans for the new building include a health lab, bookstore, space for developmental course work, open computer space for students, more classrooms and chemistry, biology and nursing labs.

Fagan said the most challenging part of the project was the time line which allotted 45 days for the first phase to be completed.

Laura Meeks, Eastern Gateway president, said the college and its partner for the project, Higher Educational Partners-EGCC Ohio, have been impressed with the architects, the contractors and the workers on the project.

Under the contract, HEP is responsible for the build-out of the project as well as building operation and maintenance.

Eastern Gateway will handle all academic decisions, and the college and HEP will make joint decisions on marketing and promotional events.

Higher Education Partners will ensure there are sufficient funds to cover 105 percent of the college’s direct expenses for the project. HEP will then be able to recover its costs and overhead, plus a 15 percent service fee, from any net revenue coming from Valley Center operations.

As of Wednesday, 681 students from Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties have enrolled at EGCC.

Of those, 530 are registered to take classes at the Valley Center with the others attending one of the county career centers, the Jefferson County Campus or taking classes online.

At this time last year, EGCC’s enrollment included 439 Mahoning Valley students.

“There’s still time to register,” Meeks said.

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