The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Science, technology, math rooms updated, beautified

South+renovates%2C%0Ateachers+innovate++Photo+by+Georgia+Phillips%2FThe+Collegian
South renovates, teachers innovate Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

Rather than raise their hands, students in the math emporium call tutors over for help by setting the plastic cup at each station on top of the monitor. Multiple tutors are always in this section of the emporium waiting to assist students with specific skills.  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Rather than raise their hands, students in the math emporium call tutors over for help by setting the plastic cup at each station on top of the monitor. Multiple tutors are always in this section of the emporium waiting to assist students with specific skills. Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
South renovates, teachers innovate  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
South renovates,
teachers innovate Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

Three of South Campus’ oldest buildings were brought into the present by extensive renovations.

The Technology Building was completely renovated. Lighting, air conditioning, bathrooms and flooring were replaced in 53 days.

Welding technology coordinator Charles Credicott said the changes were long overdue.

“The building was built in ’72 or ’73 and opened in ’74 or ’75,” Credicott said. “This has really been the first major renovation the building had, and it needed it. It was showing wear.”

In addition, classrooms were added or repainted and a new sticky space was added where students congregate.

“We created more classrooms for robotics and the oil and gas program. We were doing all those all in one classroom before,” Credicott said. “We put in a faculty adjunct office. We really have pretty well renovated the building front to back.”

Before renovating, the welding classroom was a large, echoey workshop with no ceiling.

“It wasn’t intended to be a classroom but, push comes to shove, you have to use what you’ve got,” he said.

The new welding classroom has smart podiums and projectors, making it easier for instructors to answer students’ questions.

Credicott said the facility is top-of-the-line.

“The older students, when they came in, were confused because everything was so different,” welding instructor Doug Barnett said. “It’s appreciated, from all of us and the students that we were finally able to do that.”

The old Nursing Building is now home to South’s math emporium, where students in developmental math courses can do coursework on their own terms.

Math instructor Artamease Hailes said the emporium aims to make students feel accountable and in control.

“They feel like the captains of their own ship,” she said. “We are very proud of this room and proud of the students.”

Students taking a developmental course in the emporium follow a loose schedule but mostly have control over their pace. Students can complete units and take tests whenever they feel ready.

“If they’re behind, they can still catch up,” Hailes said. “There’s a lot of power in their hands. That kind of independence and freedom reduces some of the stress.”

The emporium consists of five separate areas: the lounge, a computer area, a tutoring area, a large classroom and smaller rooms called “breakout” rooms.

“They can take a break in the lounge if they’re tired or just came from work,” Hailes said.

After a lecture in the large classroom, an instructor can offer more help by having a second, optional lecture in one of the breakout rooms. After class, students can work on their own in the tutoring area while still receiving help.

“I think that’s what they like about it. There’s a lot of interaction going on,” she said. “The environment accommodates all the different learning styles.”

Hailes said the nontraditional approach of the emporium puts students in a position of power instead of making them feel dependent on their instructors.

“We’re providers of information, there to nurture and guide them, but it’s not like there’s someone in control of you,” she said. “They see us as facilitators, but they see themselves as having some accountability. The ability to succeed lies in their hands.”

South student Caleb Hendrickson said he prefers the math emporium to a normal classroom setting.

“I feel like it’s more one-on-one because there are multiple tutors and multiple teachers,” he said. “There are so many tutors there just to help. It’s awesome.”

Student Corey Sage said he likes the math emporium most of the time.

“Sometimes it’s too big, there’s too many people,” he said. “There’s always somebody talking or coughing. There is always some kind of noise in here. Sometimes it’s too much, but it is nice.”

Biology assistant professor Jerry Barton said the institutional-looking whitewalled look is a thing of the past for the Science Building’s east wing.

“It’s a much more friendly environment,” Barton said.

Barton said the sticky spaces have already become popular for students to congregate before and after classes.

“I’ve seen a large number of students studying there,” he said. “Quizzing each other, teaching each other.”

Barton said the chemistry labs received new ventilation and fume hoods, allowing those classes to perform experiments they never could before.

“They had the labs but couldn’t do those experiments,” he said. “These add a whole new gambit of exercises and experiments they can do that will benefit them in their field. There are things they’ll see if they go into that major. It brings them up to the state of the art.”

Chemistry professor Kaven Azimi said he’s glad for the updates.

“Most of the asbestos has been removed,” he said. “We finally feel like we’re in the 21st century.”

Azimi said the new equipment in each lab is a big improvement.

“We didn’t have any computers in the labs,” he said. “That makes life easier. We now have A/V equipment in all the labs.”

The long granite counters were replaced with individual tables, allowing instructors to walk through the lab to assist students. Plus, the chemistry department now has more storage space.

“We were kind of short on storage space in the chemistry labs. Now we’ve cut down on our chemical inventory quite a bit, but if there’s an expansion, we can always do that with the current layout,” he said.

Instructional associate Barbara McPherson said the new wet lab, where classes examine cadavers, is roughly eight times the size of the old one, allowing classes to examine specimens and other displays at the same time.

“It was the size of a closet,” McPherson said. “You could only have three or four people in there, and we had people lined up in the hallway every time we had to go over a cat.”

She said the remodeled tutorial lab is a more open, comfortable space.

“I love it,” student Sam Stinnett said. “This whole building is prettier now. It’s brighter, more welcoming.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian