Expanding Education: Vernon College

It was move-in day for dozens of Vernon College employees. The Century City location has been under major renovations for the past several months and Monday was another step in the progress to expand education. Construction began in September and since then it has come along away.

Years ago the night club Graham Central Station and the old Carmike Theatre were taking up a big portion of Vernon's Century City location. Now that the two are no longer there it only made sense for Vernon College to expand.

Eight months ago this entire facility held nothing more than its own structure, but now things are starting to change. The college is under phase one and two of the renovation project.

"We have testing, counseling, financial aid, business office, advising center, a new library, a new bookstore, a new security police area, two new labs," said Dr. Dusty Johnston, President of Vernon College.

The expansion of the college was necessary. Over the past three years enrollment grew by 15 percent and at its Wichita Falls location enrollment was surpassing its facility. It was time to expand, but at what cost.

The Century City expansion is a $7 million expansion. One that everyone agrees is worth every penny.

"I think all the students that are planning to take classes at the Century City location will be very surprised and excited about the new space," said Brandi Brannon, Director of Student Relations.

Brannon is often sent to high school across its 12 county district to recruit students. With a new facility it'll make her job a little easier.

"Now we have a lot of space to offer to them and we're really excited to have that space for them," she said.

Renovations are still in phase one and two. Phase two is the renovation of the old Carmike Theatre and phase three and four will be the renovations of its old building and the addition of three entrances. Some of the space, like the bookstore and library, will open this week.

However, others parts will open next week and the bulk will be open to students when classes resume in June and August. Another addition to the college is a never before food court area.

President Dusty Johnston says the gym area that shut down last week will stay as is for now.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.