The new facility's seven labs will include more than a million dollars worth of high tech equipment.
A $7.2 million manufacturing training facility at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) is experiencing some construction delays after a water pump burst in the college's new advanced technology center.
"The added space and the capabilities of the space will be well worth the little bit of added hassle," said BRCC VP for Finance & Administration Robert Baldygo.
The college will move its manufacturing classrooms into the center from their current cramped spaces, where some even date back to the 60s.
"The manufacturing/engineering facilities right now, we're essentially using former maintenance areas for their equipment. So this will be a huge step up for them," added Baldygo.
The labs are ready for hands-on training in electronics, engineering, physics, and automated manufacturing. The new facility's seven labs will include more than a million dollars worth of high tech equipment that is designed to train a workforce to meet the needs of manufacturers for the future.
"It's equipment that will pretty much mirror the experience a student, a person would see on the manufacturing floor," said Baldygo.
Augusta Co. Economic Development Director Dennis Burnett explained, "This is not our grandfather's production plant."
Augusta County believes having the center will improve its chances to lure high-tech industry with a highly-skilled workforce. "Unquestionable - the services that center's going to provide not only positions our existing employers but also our efforts for recruiting" stated Burnett.
Blue Ridge is already working with valley industry to enhance the education that will happen inside the new center's labs. BRCC expects to open the advanced technology center at the end of January, with classes moving in around mid-semester. The center will also be the college's first LEED-certified green building.