State and local dignitaries recently joined Wor-Wic Community College board members, donors, employees, students, alumni and friends for the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the college’s new Patricia and Alan Guerrieri Technology Center.
The new building, located on the south side of the campus, is about 50,000 square feet, and is outfitted with industry-specific equipment technologies to prepare students for the workforce. It features welding, HVACR, metal fabrication and plumbing labs; a CDL simulation lab; and other hands-on instruction areas for electro-mechanical, construction, electrical and alternative energy programs. For the community, a makerspace multipurpose laboratory has tools and 3D printers open for public use.
The technology center lives up to its name, with high-tech equipment throughout. It features learning systems for robotics, geothermal electricity, wind turbine nacelles and solar panels; an augmented reality welding simulation lab, in addition to safe, real-world welding booths; a Skill Boss Logistics supply chain automation training and assessment device; mechanical lathes and mills; laser systems and an engraver.
“We are so pleased to open this facility for our students,” said Dr. Ray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic. “It will help us continue to give our community a place where the workforce of today and tomorrow can learn, surrounded by state-of-the-art technology.”
With 90 percent of Wor-Wic students staying and working in the area, the new programs and technology will fill high-tech learning requirements for local students, supporting demands for skilled workers who can help build the community.
“We are so proud of this building and the bright futures that it represents for our students,” said Kimberly C. Gillis, chair of the Wor-Wic board of trustees. “It is yet another part of the wonderful legacy that Dr. Ray Hoy has helped to build for our community.”
Whiting-Turner was the general contractor for the project. The building was designed by Becker Morgan Group of Salisbury. The new building has the same exterior yellow brick as other buildings on campus. It also has some unique design elements, showcasing the learning taking place within its walls by providing glass viewing panels into various labs. The building also houses a computer laboratory, classrooms, student study spaces, conference rooms and offices to accommodate credit and non-credit employees to support these programs.
The $36 million building project was funded by the State of Maryland and Wicomico and Worcester counties, as well as the “Preparing for a Stronger Tomorrow” campaign by the Wor-Wic Foundation.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community, we will be able to provide critical, cutting-edge training,” said Marty Neat, a board member who chaired the campaign. “Our campaign has raised more than $12.7 million to support technologies and scholarships, but it isn’t over just yet. We are still working on changing lives through education here.”
Anyone interested in making a donation to the campaign can send a check made payable to the Wor-Wic Foundation, 32000 Campus Dr., Salisbury, MD 21804, with “Stronger Tomorrow” written on the memo portion. Or, click the “Donate” link at the top right of the college website and designate your gift for the “Preparing for a Stronger Tomorrow” campaign.