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AWC officially dedicates Wellton center
Students in the east county have been able to take advantage of the new Wellton Learning Center for the first time this semester.
A ribbon-cutting for the new 6,700-square-foot building took place Thursday to recognize those who were a part of making the project possible.
Containing four classrooms and three staff offices, the facility sits on a 1.4-acre parcel at the corner of County 12th Street and Avenue 29E south of the Coyote Wash Golf Course. The $1.6 million project displays many of the same architectural features as the math and English labs recently added to the main AWC campus also constructed by Pilkington Commercial Construction and designed by Patterson Thompson Architects.
“This is a really exciting time for Arizona Western College, branching out into Wellton and the surrounding communities,” said Glenn E. Mayle, president of AWC.
He noted that the funds for the building came from a $74 million bond approved by voters in 2004, of which the Wellton Center is the last project. Also built through the bond funds were the College Community Center (3C), the Barcomb Agriculture and Science Complex, Dr. Kathryn A. Watson Child Development Learning on AWC's main campus as well as the Quartzsite, San Luis and Parker learning centers.
Mayle said the classrooms will have the capability for lectures broadcast from both AWC and other universities. This will allow students to receive higher education without ever having to leave AWC's partnerships with state universities.
“We have a number of students coming to AWC from the Wellton area, but obviously that's a time constraint and a financial constraint. This center will allow them to get their courses there, as well as take some of their courses online through some of the pathways that we have with the universities,” he said.
Previously, AWC was running a learning center out of Antelope Union High School's nearby campus.
“It's wonderful to know that the children in our community are going to have such close access to the college faculty, staff and resources ... Our children are going to know what it means to be close to a college and know all those advantages of taking classes in a formal way for a degree and also taking them for your own enrichment and improvement,” said Laura Noel, superintendent of the Wellton Elementary School District, during the groundbreaking last year.
Not only will the Wellton campus be a staging place for education to happen, it will be available for community use for various activities and events.
The land was made available to the community through a transfer from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, facilitated by the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation & Drainage District. The WMIDD and Bureau of Reclamation signed a lease agreement in 2010 to allow the eventual development of the Wellton Community Complex, which will include the AWC Center, a new elementary school and a municipal park.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.