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Dallas County Community Colleges, which recently purchased the former Sears payment processing center on Corinth Street, will move personnel from its current administration building at 701 Elm St. in downtown Dallas and from its District Service Center in Mesquite after construction on the new facility is complete; that move is projected to occur in December 2006 or January 2007. The facilities then will be called the Bill Priest Education Complex, which honors the first chancellor of the Dallas County Community Colleges, Dr. Bill J. Priest.
“We are investing approximately $20 million in the future of south Dallas, in addition to $10 million we recently spent to purchase the Paramount Building in the West End so that El Centro College can expand its nursing and allied health facilities,” said Carreon, the system’s chancellor. “Funds from our recently approved bond package included expansion of the Bill Priest Institute and additional facilities at our colleges and new education centers across Dallas County. We will maintain our presence in the Central Business District through El Centro College, which will move some offices into the current administration building at 701 Elm, and we will expand our presence in south Dallas.”
Eastfield College, located in Mesquite, will expand its workforce development operations into the District Service Center, which is adjacent to the campus. Once District Service Center personnel have completed their move, that additional space will be used by EFC for classrooms and facilities. The service center includes business affairs, purchasing, information technology and related operations for the system.“This consolidation of system functions to one location will enable us to handle business and college operations more efficiently and effectively,” added Carreon. “And we want to assure our employees – especially those in our administration building at 701 Elm and those at the District Service Center – that they will be encouraged to share their ideas, needs and suggestions for the new facilities through a committee structure that starts at the location level and moves up. I want our employees to look at this opportunity as ‘the glass half full’ and to devote positive energy to making this transition successful.”
The move will involve approximately 200 persons from the District Service Center and 100 employees from the current administration building to a new 80,000-square-foot facility. Personnel will be involved in the committee process from January to May 2005, and the old Sears facilities will be razed. The date to begin construction on the new building will be announced, and the entire process should be completed in two years.
As this plan proceeds, a multitude of other projects continue at all seven Dallas County Community Colleges, funded either by $50 million in maintenance tax notes (for maintenance and repairs) or by the $450 million bond program expected to build out over the next six to seven years. Five new education centers in underserved or fast-growing sectors of Dallas County also are planned.
Susan Hall, executive district director of human resources, will chair the field advisory committee. Bob Brown, vice chancellor for business affairs, is CEO for the District Service Center, and Dr. Glen Bounds serves as president of the Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development. Drs. Wright Lassiter and Rodger Pool, presidents of El Centro and Eastfield colleges respectively, also have been working with Carreon to plan for and implement these changes.
“With the support of the members of our board of trustees, I want to thank everyone involved in this process,” added Carreon. “Change is not easy, but I know that we will have a coordinated team effort as we move forward with this move and with our bond program in general.”
For more information, see Relocation Fact Sheet or contact Ann Hatch in the Dallas County Community Colleges marketing and communications office at (214) 860-2478.