CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Work is half complete on a new technical and vocational training center at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.
When construction is finished in November, the $15 million Advantage Valley Advance Technology Center will host a wide range of training programs for local community colleges and industries.
Jim Skidmore, chancellor of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, had his first tour of the project with architects and project engineers Wednesday morning.
He said officials had one word in mind when they designed the building.
"It was all about flexibility, flexibility, flexibility," Skidmore said.
The building will house the technology and workforce training programs for several community colleges in the area.
The day-to-day operations will be managed by Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical colleges, which will merge into one school later this year.
The 55,000-square-foot building will have flexible areas for the specialized training and certification programs needed by local chemical companies and power plants.
"This facility will be equipped to address practically any customized training need for employers in the region," Skidmore said.
Architect Todd Boggess of Princeton-based ETB Architects said he and other project officials met with local businesses to get their input on the design of the technical and industrial-use lab spaces.
"In working on the design, we met with local industries in the area to understand what their needs are from an educational and training standpoint," Boggess said.
One of the central features of the new building is an area on the building's first floor.
The space can be divided into three smaller rooms that can be tailored for any type of technical training program.
Equipment can be trucked in and set up for a six- to eight-week training course and then hauled out to make room for other classes.