Drake State breaks ground on advanced manufacturing facility

Construction is underway on Drake State Community and Technical College’s advanced manufacturing center. Officials from Drake State, the Alabama Community College System, City of Huntsville, Madison County, as well as representatives from Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) and Fite Building Company celebrated the milestone with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Meridian Street campus on Friday, June 9.

“This leading-edge facility cements our commitment to workforce development in the North Alabama region,” said President of Drake State Community and Technical College, Dr. Patricia Sims. “It will help our students secure high-wage jobs and nationally recognized certifications at an affordable cost. With dedicated spaces for various disciplines and top-notch equipment, we aim to equip our students with the skills needed to excel in high-demand fields. We are grateful to our partners, including the Alabama Community College System, the City of Huntsville, Madison County, Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Fite Building Company, and others, for supporting this vision.”

The Drake State Advanced Manufacturing Center was identified as a needed project through the ACCS ASPIRE 2030 initiative, which provides funding for facility upgrades and new construction for all levels of education in Alabama.

The 50,000-square-foot facility will support the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries and house the most in-demand training programs, including engineering design and mechatronics. The new building will include dedicated space for machine tool technology, welding, industrial systems and technology, drafting and design and more, as well as lab spaces, classrooms and offices for instructors and administration.

The new advanced manufacturing center will equip students with skills that will help them earn a high wage and gain nationally recognized certifications at a low cost.

Goodwyn Mills Cawood is providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering and landscape architecture services for the advanced manufacturing facility, which is being constructed by Fite Building Company. Other project team members include Tucker Jones Engineers, structural engineer; MW/Davis Dumas & Associates, mechanical engineer; and Jackson, Renfro & Associates, electrical engineer.

Construction on the new building is scheduled to be completed by fall 2024.

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