WILLIAMSON Thanks to a bond passed in 2007 by the West Virginia Legislature, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will build a new technology center on their Williamson campus. The purpose of the bond was to raise funds for the purpose of constructing new campuses and technology facilities for the states community and technical colleges. Southern will receive $6 million dollars for the construction of a 21,000 square foot technical facility at its Williamson Campus, Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin said. Some of the training programs being considered for the new Technology Center include industrial vehicle maintenance, welding and electricity, vehicle operation training and robotic automation technology. College officials are also planning to create a professional testing center where students may complete all state licensure examinations. The college has postponed plans to acquire the National Guard Armory that is adjacent to the Williamson campus. A new armory is planned that will combine the Logan and Mingo county guards; plans are being drawn up for that new facility. We continue to work closely with Major General Allen Tackett on the acquisition of the National Guard Armory property. The College still intends to purchase the Armory when it becomes available, however, due to the timing of the bond funds, the College will need to begin construction and complete the new facility within three years of receiving the funds. That is why we are building a new facility on property that the college already owns, President Tomblin explained. President Tomblin said the goal is to create a facility with a flexible design, allowing for training to be kept current and programs interchanged as necessary. Before plans are finalized, President Tomblin said she would be asking for input from the faculty and staff at the WiIliamson Campus. We are planning to serve a much larger region here, including our neighboring counties in Kentucky, Tomblin said. President Tomblin, accompanied by members of the colleges leadership team, has met twice with representatives from MBAJ Architecture and ET Boggess to discuss the vision for the project. The group reviewed training programs that are being planned for the new technology facility as well as the actual construction site which is located adjacent to the main campus building. This is going to be a technologically designed facility which will provide students with hands-on training to prepare them for the jobs of the future, President Tomblin said. This project is one that the Tug Valley community can be proud of and its design will change the way students will learn in the future. A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for late spring or early summer of 2010.