By Lariena Nokes
On Jan. 12, the new Hutchinson Community College Fire Science building at 3211 East 4th opened for classes.
The 20,400-square-foot building is equipped with state-of-the art-classrooms and cutting-edge fire training technology.
The new building includes a fully equipped multi-purpose room, men’s and women’s locker rooms, five new classrooms, two computer labs a student break area with cafe tables.
Not all of the new equipment and furnishings has been unpacked and assembled.
Jason Holland, fire science instructor, noticed the situation.
“The first day (of spring semester), we arrived to empty rooms with no furniture,” he said.
Bobby White, Fire Science Program coordinator, was pleased with the progress.
“We have been pretty lucky because our new furniture has been arriving on or before the new deadlines,” White said.
“It never fails that the delivery trucks arrive when the classes change and students need in and out of the parking lot.”
The old fire science training facilities, at the former U.S. Navy air base southwest of Yoder, was in a structure built in 1943 and its rooms originally were labeled with World War II military designations.
The Yoder campus is about a 15-minute drive from Hutchinson.
“The location of our new campus in Hutchinson is great for the students who live here,” Holland said.
With 184 male students and 13 female students enrolled and a staff of approximately 15, the new building is proving its worth.
“We have approximately the same amount of space as before, but it feels bigger because we have it divided up for the reasons we need it,” White said.