Wake Technical Community College on Tuesday closed a $10.6 million land deal to pave the way for a new technology and workforce development campus.
The future campus’ 106-acre plot is slated to be unveiled through three phases of construction. According to Triangle Business Journal, phase 1 is designated as the “Tech 4.0 facility.” Programs will support smart manufacturing and the new Tower Technician apprenticeship program focused on the repair and maintenance of 5G cell towers. Also included are first responder training, an Emergency Management Technician (EMT) program, and training programs related to unmanned aircraft systems.
“It’s a very big deal for us,” said Wake Tech’s president Scott Ralls. “Wake Tech is a unique college and one of the things I think that makes it a unique college, particularly as a technology focused, workforce focused college is the support of our county … so this is a way for us to maximize those resources and also reach a new part of the county where we need to be, where we think we can have a big impact.”
The Triangle Business Journal reported phase 2 includes a STEM Building, a Workforce Continuing Education Center, and an Innovation Center. Phase 3 is “envisioned to include a Business and Information Technology Building, a second general education building, and a strategic area for public private partnership for housing and a parking deck with retail space.”
Supported by a $349 million bond approved by Wake County in 2018, the land purchase fills a need for higher education funneled through neighboring towns. The college is reportedly considering dual enrollment opportunities with East Wake High School and Knightdale.
“The thing I’m really also very excited about is our educational partnership collaboration,” Ralls said about the mentioning programs. “They have unique programs that our students who are in these kinds of technical programs can transfer to. We’ve been working to create a targeted opportunity both from an economic development scenario but also educational pathways.”
Ralls expects phase 1 to be complete within five years.
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