Richland College officially opened its Garland Campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The new facility, located on the corner of Walnut and Glenbrook, serves as a location for area companies, organizations, and individuals to obtain highly specialized, contract corporate and workforce training and also functions as an educational gateway for student intake and outreach services for area residents and businesses to access main campus college credit programs and courses at Richland, Eastfield, and El Centro colleges.
“We are eager for this first facility on Richland’s new 21-acre Garland campus to serve as a nearby gateway to Garland-area residents to learn more about the many educational opportunities the DCCCD has to offer, especially at the main campuses of Richland, Eastfield, and El Centro Colleges,” said Steve Mittelstet, Richland’s president for the past 30 years.
Innovative, eco-friendly design and construction
VAI Architects provided master planning for this new, state-of-the-art facility. It is the first public project built as part of the master planned redevelopment for downtown Garland. The building was designed to provide a new public plaza link to proposed urban redevelopment and nearby DART rail and bus stations.
It is also the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-designed/constructed project in the City of Garland. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures energy efficiency including energy savings, water efficiency, and CO2 emissions reduction. It is Richland’s intent that the systems and operations of this new building will function in efficient ways that produce minimal impact to the environment while providing lessons to its students and surrounding community on sustainability. It is hoped that the money saved on energy can be reinvested in workforce development instruction, student outreach services, and student learning success. Some of its “green” features include:
-It is located immediately adjacent to the Downtown Garland DART Rail Station to promote the convenient use of public transportation;
-A prominent single-slope roof that harvests rainwater in underground storage tanks for use irrigating all plant materials; its white reflection reduces the sun’s heating effects on the building’s cooling system;
-Motion-sensor faucets and double-flush toilet mechanisms in restrooms conserve water use; waterless urinals in men’s restrooms save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year per fixture; and
-Building construction materials contain low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) levels, reducing pollutants and improving indoor air quality for occupants.
The facility is organized into three functional building areas that consist of the main central gallery, a separate administration wing and a classrooms/computer lab wing for training opportunities. Each functional building area is oriented to take advantage of proper solar orientation in accordance with fundamental sustainability design concepts. Exterior and interior finish materials consist primarily of large blocks of split-face native Texas limestone, local brick similar to the main Richland campus, low E insulated glass and metal panels.
Career-related education, training, and services are the focus of the first phase of this new 21-acre campus. Dallas County companies will be able to access training for both new hires and currently employed workers to enhance their skills, which in turn will provide greater opportunities for advancement for individuals and strengthen companies and overall Garland-area economic development.
Currently, the campus is providing a machine operator program in response to a need voiced by the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association through the Garland Chamber of Commerce. A medical office specialist program is also underway to train skilled, non-clinical support specialists in a medical setting as front office staffing, scheduling clerks, patient coordinators, and individuals to verify insurance. Specific programming will continue to evolve as the needs and demands of the local workforce expand.
Garland Chamber of Commerce and community partnerships
This remote campus also provides a separate lease space for use by the Garland Chamber of Commerce, with its own identifiable entry. This unique arrangement further solidifies Richland’s commitment to partnering with area businesses, particularly with the Garland-area manufacturing industry, to build relationships and stimulate the economy.
“The mission of the Garland Chamber is taking primary responsibility for a sustainable economy in Garland. To that end, a marriage between the Chamber and the Richland College Garland Campus is an ideal fit. This relationship along with the existing partnership of the Garland Independent School District, the City of Garland and the Chamber makes us one of the most competitive communities in the country,” says Garland Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Mayer.
The 6,000-square-foot, two-story glass gallery space at the Garland Campus links both the Chamber’s lease space and college administration wing to the education wing. The gallery will serve a variety of functions including career fairs, university/college fairs, intercultural festivals, and neighborhood association celebrations.
Mittelstet added, “We look forward to future expansion of our new Garland campus with other potential area partners, such as the Garland Independent School District, to help young students from GISD move successfully into college and on into universities and careers, with lifelong learning opportunities to meet the dynamic demands of a rapidly changing economy and workforce that are requisite in building and maintaining a robust, sustainable community.”
For more information, please contact Anitra Cotton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-238-6022.