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Emerging Technology Complex on track, on budget (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
June 23, 2014 at 1:23 a.m.

Joey Andrews and Jeremy Kirkpatrick with BMF Solutions install a network of more than 240 sprinkler heads for the fire protection system on the second floor of the Emerging Technology Complex at the Lone Tree Industrial Park.

The construction of Victoria College's Emerging Technology Complex has reached its midpoint.

Construction workers from Drymalla, based in Columbus, hammered away at the three-story complex with the mid-June heat beating against their necks.

Larry Garrett, Victoria College executive director of special projects, wore a hard hat as he led a tour of the industrial training center scheduled to be ready for use in January. The conference and education center is scheduled for completion in June 2015.

"The construction is on schedule and on budget," Garrett said.

Victoria Chamber of Commerce President Randy Vivian said the business and conference space the new complex is expected to offer will satisfy a much-desired need for professional meeting spaces in the Crossroads.

"It's going to be a magnificent structure," said Vivian, who recently toured the construction site. "It's not only going to be able to train industry workers, but it's also going to have a conference center which Victoria has sorely needed for a long time."

In 2012, Victoria County voters approved a $22 million bond for the construction of the building on 16-and-a-half acres of land donated by the city of Victoria and the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corp.

On the first floor of the conference and education building, visitors will be able to see through the building's glass walls designed to reduce energy costs, Garrett said.

The conference and education center will feature a banquet hall with motorized walls and space for 400 to 600 people, a catering kitchen, several meeting and conference rooms outfitted with digital projection screens, a student lounge and classroom space.

About 18,000 square feet will be available for rent, said Jennifer Yancey, VC vice president of college advancement and external affairs.

In a conjoined building designed for industrial technical training, training lab bays are visible through observation decks located on the second floor of the facility.

One of the six bays, available for use by local companies, will remain free from long-term assignments for rapid-response purposes, Yancey said.

"This is going to become a true asset for the city of Victoria," Yancey said. "This complex is coming at a real opportune moment for area industries."

Room-naming opportunities remain available for interested sponsors, Yancey said.

Vivian said once the building is complete, he expects to see more businesses develop close to the complex, which neighbors Caterpillar off Lone Tree Road and Zac Lentz Parkway.

"We are going to see lots of development over there," Vivian said. "There's a lot of land for sale in that area."



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