Following last month’s ribbon cutting for the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at Grayson College, the school held a ground breaking event Tuesday to celebrate the building progress on its new Student Success Center. These two projects combine with the current construction of a new dormitory and the upcoming construction of a viticulture laboratory for a full roster of building projects.


The new Student Success building, which is currently scheduled to be completed in Spring 2019, will be located directly behind the college’s current administration building. Grayson College President Jeremy McMillen explained this is an ideal location for the building as it lends easy access for students.


“One of the things this will allow us to do is we will have an elevator near the parking lot,” McMillen said. “Right now, if you need an elevator, you have to go to center of campus. This will make us more accessible as a college and we’re excited about that. This building will connect to the other building with a walkway so we think that’s a really good thing for our students. It all ties together and maximizes the spaces that we do have so we can build stronger relationships.”


The Math Hub will be relocated to the new building, creating a more cohesive learning environment for Mathematics students who currently have to travel across campus for tutoring and other resources.


“Currently our math faculty is in the building right behind us and the current Math Hub is on the opposite side of campus,” McMillen said. “Having them separated doesn’t create the best learning environment.”


The mathematics chair for the college Logan Maxwell said the division’s staff is excited about the move.


“All of our classrooms and offices are currently in the liberal arts building but we encourage our students to go to the Math Hub and utilize that resource,” Maxwell said. “We have excellent staff in the Math Hub, excellent resources for them to use, tutors that we have trained and a lot of them get lost along the way. The journey starts just to get them through these front doors and get them enrolled and we don’t want to lose them when they feel discouraged and they need those resources. So, it’s going to be excellent for us.”


The mathematics offices will be located directly across from the new Math Hub allowing instructors to easily assist students. Maxwell explained the goal behind the design and location of the building is to aid in success for students.


The college’s IT department and Writing Center, which currently occupy student study spaces on a temporary basis, will move also into the student success building and free up space in the library.


The college’s board of trustees recently approved a guaranteed maximum price for the building at $5,963,288. If the cost for the work exceeds that price during the construction process, the liability for that cost would fall back on the contractor rather than the college. This is true unless the college takes actions that would increase the budget.


McMillen explained the project will be funded without bonds by using reserves budgeted by the college.


“The board budgets $1 million each year into our preservation fund,” McMillen said in a previous interview. “That is really for when a piece of equipment or something like that is failing. But that also could be used for the new building projects if we don’t have those other deferred maintenance issues that we need to address. We still remain with a healthy reserve at the end of this.”