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

NE Campus preserves history with scrap wood

By Gary Collins/reporter

Educational institutions often try to preserve history, both of the school and the community it serves.

To commemorate 40 years, the NE Campus graphics department has produced the 40 Years of Excellence posters featuring photos taken over the past four decades on NE Campus.

NE Campus was scheduled to open in the fall of 1968, but delays caused classes to be held on South Campus until NE opened in spring 1969.

A unique opportunity arose from what began as a maintenance problem in the student activities office with an aging sliding door.

“It was a closet door, and there was a sliding door, and it closed like an accordion,” NE plant superintendant Mike Tankersley said. “And the door broke over the years. It was repaired and broke, repaired again and broke, and it got to the point we couldn’t repair it anymore.”

The wooden door was eventually taken down and replaced with a new vinyl door.

After replacing it, NE Campus maintenance worker Thay Collis took the wooden door to Randy Graham, construction leader at the district physical plant. Not wanting to throw out good usable wood, they decided to keep the door and possibly find another use for it.

“Thay brought it to me saying, ‘If anybody can use this, I know you can.’ At first, I thought it was half-inch-thick solid wood,” Graham said. 

An opportunity came when the NE Campus 40 Years of Excellence posters were produced.

Instead of just tacking the posters to the wall, Tankersley thought framing them would work better.

Graham and his crew passed around ideas on what to do with the old door. With the need for frames and having the old door on hand, Graham found his chance to make use of the scrap wood.

“I knew there was bound to be a project that would come up. As it turned out, it was just enough wood for all the frames.” Graham said.

The frames will hold the NE Campus 40 Years of Excellence posters and one will be placed in each building on NE Campus. Currently, one hangs in the Instructional Media Center outside the graphics department.

Not only was building the frames from the wooden door a creative way to preserve the original door, but it was also a cost-saving measure.

“By saving that wood and building the frames out of it, he really saved the college hundreds and hundreds of dollars,” Tankersley said.

To create the frames, the district carpenter shop took the wooden doors and cut the frames in about one week. The frames will go up on campus after all the posters are framed.

“We actually thought it was solid core but happened to be veneer so it showed a plywood ingrain when we cut it,” Graham said. “But we were able to work around it. It would have been more simple if it was hardwood.”

The brown wooden frames will also replace the black frames, which now hold the posters.

The project’s goal to highlight the history of NE Campus will not only preserve the posters, but it will also preserve an original structure from the early years. It will also help tell the story of TCC to future students and staff.

“So 40 years from now when somebody else has been here a long time like Paula [Vastine, NE student development services director] can say, ‘Oh, by the way, not only is that our 40-year anniversary [poster], but it’s framed with some wood that was here when the campus was built,’” Tankersley said. “So there’s the heritage behind that.”

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