Article below by Melissa Cade, Waxahachie Daily Light staff writer
Administrators, trustees and faculty members of Navarro College Waxahachie campus welcomed local city officials and residents to their classroom building dedication Tuesday, July 30.
President of Ellis County Campuses Dr. Kenneth Martin welcomed everyone to the dedication and blessing of the new 21,000-square-foot classroom building.
“We appreciate all of you for attending this wonderful event today,” Martin said. “I’m so elated to see all of the citizens here today.”
As the college approaches 40 years, it has seen a tremendous amount of growth.
“We now have 3,000 students and are still growing,” Martin said. “The trustees have continued their concern for providing the educational needs of the students in this county. They have made funding available for this new building, which is an exciting place to be right now.”
The building consists of 11 classrooms, which include a multipurpose room that will hold up to 105 students, a chemistry lab and a visual conferencing room. The facility also contains nine faculty offices.
Martin said the construction of the new building has been a part of the college board of trustees’ vision for quite some time. Outgoing District President Dr. Richard Sanchez said to see the completion of the building is a dream come true.
“This is a great time in Ellis County as we dedicate this facility,” Sanchez said. “Fifteen years ago when I came to Navarro College, all we had was a cabinet shop that we converted into a college classroom building.”
Sanchez said the rectangular building was all that could be seen on the campus. At that time the campus only consisted of seven acres, which didn’t give them much room for expansion.
“The trustees generously agreed to purchase an additional five acres from Chevron Phillips,” he said. “That was not an easy task. They fought us tooth and nail, but that brought us up to 12 acres.”
Sanchez said the trustees chose to remodel the cabinet shop, which became the architectural signature on the Waxahachie campus.
Also during that time Chevron Phillips decided to sell the property behind the school building, which added up to a total of 50 acres of school property.
“We then decided to sell 15 of those acres, which left us with a grand total of 35 acres to build additional buildings on,” Sanchez said. “Now as we dedicate this building and look to add others, this campus will continue to grow. It may be in the year 2030 or 2035, but you will see this campus transform into the college campus we all know this place has the potential to be.”
Navarro College Board of Trustee members as well as Secretary and Treasurer Phil Judson were in attendance. Judson spoke on behalf of the board.
“We are just happy and thrilled to be here,” he said. “Waxahachie has experienced a tremendous amount of growth. I’m a firm believer that any growth in a community starts with a foundation of education.”
Judson said while they are thrilled with the new building, it’s still just a building. He said what makes it worth celebrating are the administrators, faculty and students.
The campus also has a new 7,000-square-foot physical plant building, which is located directly behind the new classroom building.
Martin closed the dedication by recognizing everyone who had a hand in make the ceremony a momentous and successful occasion. All those in attendance toured the building to see all that had been accomplished.