McClellan, Formerly Building 3181, Now Open
By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau
The L-shaped, yellow-and-brown McClellan Center shines
like new now that its $8 million renovation is complete. Renovation
started during 2003, and the first occupants moved in this past December.
Other occupants moved in within the past few weeks. The two-story building,
formerly called Building 3181, is located about a mile from the landmark
fire station, and it faces the circular Commandant Drive (soon to be
Delivery people unloaded new furniture recently as cool
spring breezes blew across the massive lawn. Inside, students and employees
wandered in and out of classrooms and offices along the buff-colored
and maroon hallways. Employees responded with excitement to questions
about the new facility, which is a joint effort by the state to provide
a facility for two institutes of higher learning - Jacksonville State
University and Gadsden State Community College.
"I'm excited to be a part of Dr. Meehan's vision of the
higher education consortium between the two institutions," said Mr.
David Zeigler, director of the McClellan Center. "The consortium is
one of a kind in the state."
Mr. Zeigler said the center will allow a smoother transition
for students desiring to attend JSU.
The initial idea for using Building 3181, which will be
formally re-named later, began around 1999 when Fort McClellan closed.
JSU bought the facility from the Joint Powers Authority. It had formerly
served the federal government as a military police school. Gadsden State
Community College signed a 99-year lease with JSU for half of the space,
and they contributed half of the $8 million renovation cost. GSCC moved
from the Anniston facility on Noble Street and expanded its service
to the community. Both institutions are glad to have the new space.
"Having this facility available at McClellan offers more
access to JSU programs by people in Calhoun and Talladega Counties,"
said Dr. Rebecca Turner, JSU's vice president of academic affairs. "The
facility has provided us with opportunities to expand, which is good
because our programs have grown."
Dr. Turner said JSU plans to host more workshops in the
future at the facility.
John Blue, II, vice president at GSCC, said the McClellan
facility will not only allow the college to expand but will also enhance
its 20-year educational presence in Calhoun and nearby counties.
"The McClellan center has provided GSCC with state-of-the-art
classrooms," said Mr. Blue. "It also has provided us with specialized
labs to continue and enhance the delivery of allied health programs
and other specialized programs, such as those for emergency medical
services and nurses."
Mr. Blue also said GSCC hopes to provide more employee-training
programs for the business and industrial community in Calhoun County.
JSU-McClellan is a mini campus complete with an auditorium,
a bookstore, and a snack room with vending machines. Housed on the east
wing is JSU: Housed on the south wing is GSCC. One feature both institutions
are already enjoying is a 450-seat auditorium located on the tip of
the south wing. It will serve both educational entities and the entire
JSU uses the facility for long distance education and
for housing several non-academic departments. The Institute for Emergency
Preparedness housed in JSU McClellan teaches students throughout the
world over the Internet. The non-academic departments include the In-service
Education Center and the Department of Continuing Education. At a later
date, the JSU Archeological Laboratory will be housed in JSU-McClellan.
One state agency, the Alabama Police Academy, leases space from JSU.
Also the state will lease space in the future for a laboratory and office
for the Alabama Department of Forensics Science.
GSCC's online Public Safety Telecommunications (PST) and
Emergency Management Services (EMS) are taught exclusively at the McClellan
Center. The telecommunications program trains 911 operators in more
than 47 states and foreign countries with about 35 students currently
enrolled. The EMS program trains paramedics and ambulance drivers.
"One of the things we have been able to do is place the
health sciences in one place," said Ms. Kelley Haynes, GSCC's coordinator
of the McClellan campus.
For the first time, too, according to Ms. Haynes, a two-year
general studies degree from GSCC can be fully obtained in Calhoun County.
"GSCC is pleased to be a part of the community and is
also pleased to join JSU in a model education partnership," said Mr.
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