- Staff report
EPCC Opens New Arts, Science & Technology Building at EPCC’s Valle Verde Campus
El Paso Community College, (EPCC) officially opened the doors to the Arts, Science & Technology (AST) building at the Valle Verde campus and celebrated with a grand opening celebration.
One of five campuses conveniently located throughout El Paso County to serve students, the Valle Verde campus is the college’s largest campus. In addition to increasing instructional space, the new building will expand programs that lead to high-demand and high-paying careers such as information technology, cybersecurity, sciences and others.
During his remarks, EPCC President Dr. William Serrata talked about how jobs of the future will require a college degree or certificate. As a result, the college is committed to building facilities that allow for innovative learning experiences.
“EPCC is committed to ensuring high-quality experiences and providing robust support needed for student success,” Serrata said. “The Arts, Science and Technology Building at the Valle Verde Campus has created learning spaces that will focus on science, technology, engineering, math, as well as the arts.”
EPCC has a long history of transforming students’ futures by providing high quality and affordable education opportunities for our region. “With globalized economies and emerging technologies changing both the education and employment landscape, enhanced technology and collaborative learning spaces for students has become increasingly important,” Dr. Steven Smith, Vice President of Workforce and Instruction said. “The facilities at EPCC combined with classes taught by highly-qualified faculty ensure students graduate career ready or can successfully transfer to a 4-year university. EPCC graduates are competitive in whatever they choose to do.”
Besides additional lab and classrooms at the AST, a large community engagement space will promote interactive learning, accommodating everything from lectures, to performances to guest speakers and special events. There will be cutting edge science and computer science labs with the latest technology, learning tools and collaborative research spaces.
The building also features enhanced performance spaces for dance and music. The AST also has a First Year Experience Center designed to help new students navigate their college experience and ensure they have the support necessary to stay in school and complete their degrees. Finally, the AST at the Valle Verde campus has preserved the long-history of achievement at EPCC and holds a time capsule that was sealed during the college’s 50th Anniversary in 2019 and is scheduled to be opened in 2044 during the college’s 75th Anniversary.
The time capsule holds both EPCC memorabilia as well as historical items that will be displayed during themed installations. Dr. Linda Brown, a speech professor and coordinator of the college’s Leadership Academy, curated the time capsule along with members of a leadership academy cohort. “The time capsule is a fun reminder that EPCC has supported student success in El Paso for more than 50 years,” Brown said.
EPCC underwent a comprehensive Master Planning process which involved input from students, faculty, staff, and the community. To enhance student experiences and to prepare for future growth, this plan recommended multiple phases of construction to expand facilities. In 2015, the college started construction to implement projects from the Master Plan which included six projects on five campuses.
The ultimate goals of these projects are to provide more engaging learning experiences for students, place them on a path to completing their degrees and ultimately increase educational attainment in our region. The AST is part of these projects which added an additional 103,000 square feet in a new three-story building at the Valle Verde Campus. District-wide, more than 405,000 square feet was added.
Investing in campus improvement needs and making sure EPCC has the capacity to serve students with additional classroom and laboratory space, state-of-the art learning experiences and improved technology is part of the college’s ongoing Strategic Plan.