W. Va. Community College to see $6 million expansion

The Wheeling and Weirton campuses of West Virginia Community College will be seeing some $6 million in expansion projects, officials announced Thursday.

President Martin Olshinsky said the Wheeling campus will be the site of a new Technology Center to “enhance the college’s ability to deliver a skilled workforce by creating learning opportunities in technology-based fields.”

The Weirton campus will see the construction of an addition to the current building on Park Avenue, Weirton Heights, for the expansion of the health sciences and industrial maintenance programs, he said.

“West Virginia Northern is pleased to be such an integral part of the city of Wheeling’s plans for a rejuvenated downtown. We are an anchor tenant, and these plans will deepen further our roots in the downtown. The Weirton campus project will cement further the college’s relationship with that city,” Olshinsky said.

Funding for the projects is expected to be raised through an issue of revenue bonds for community and technical college capital improvements that was approved by the West Virginia Legislature earlier this year.

Olshinsky praised Chancellor James L. Skidmore and the staff of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia for pursuing the bond issue.

The Technology Center will serve six Northern Panhandle counties “with training for in-demand skill sets. With significant downsizing, numerous retirements and new businesses entering the region, West Virginia Northern is positioned to take a leadership role in improving the region’s economy while retraining an incumbent workforce,” Olshinsky said.

All the potential locations for the Technology Center are located in close proximity to College Square, which consists of the B&O Building and the Education Center located across Chapline Street from the B&O.

The Technology Center would require about 20,000-22,000 square feet of open space, including four classrooms and two offices.

The Weirton project is expected to cost about $2 million.

Olshinsky explained the Wheeling Campus Technology Center would cost about $4 million and could include programs in fiber optics, welding, programmable controls, integrated manufacturing; computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing; robotics, advanced computer applications, power technology, and industrial maintenance.

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