VC marks completion of industrial trades facility’s renovations with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Bland Proctor, president of Victoria College’s Board of Trustees, and Jennifer Kent, VC president, cut the ribbon during a ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the completed renovations of VC’s William Wood Building

Victoria College celebrated the completion of renovations to its William Wood Building on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Renovations to the building, which houses VC’s instrumentation, electronics technology and welding courses, began in August 2020, and were completed by the start of the current Fall 2021 semester. The $4.75 million project is part of Victoria College’s three-phase expansion for its industrial trades programs. In 2019, Victoria College received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration that funded 80 percent of the phase-two renovations and equipment.

“Victoria College’s mission is to provide educational opportunities and services for our students and the communities we serve,” said Bland Proctor, president of Victoria College’s Board of Trustees. “The renovations to this building and the programs it provides do just that.”

The renovations included expansion and modernization of classrooms and labs for VC’s instrumentation, electronics technology and welding classes to better meet the growing demand for qualified and skilled technicians. The project also included expansion and improved ventilation for welding bays and classroom space.

“These expanded industrial trades programs will boost program size and quality and provide students with the teaching environment and hands-on experiences they will encounter in the workplace,” said Victoria College President Dr. Jennifer Kent. “The letters of support from our elected officials and workforce partners really helped in securing the EDA funds. Our VC employees and contractors also worked tirelessly to complete this project.”

The offices of U.S. Congressman Michael Cloud, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, State Representative Geanie Morrison submitted letters of support for the EDA funding as did the Victoria Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Golden Crescent Development Board and Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission.

Among the speakers at the event was Josh Scotten, who graduated from Victoria College’s Instrumentation Program and is now an instructor in the program.

“In my first days here as a professor, I got to walk through the Wood Building, and it ignited my passion for the craft once more,” Scotten said. “The labs that I once studied in as a student have evolved as the industry has. We now have state-of-the-art lab settings that better aid in the application of classroom theory on actual industrial process equipment.”

Guests were given refreshments and tours of the renovated facility.

“On behalf of the Victoria College Foundation, I would like to say thank you to DOW Seadrift Operations, Formosa Plastics Cooperation, The Cloyde and Ethel Lee Tracy Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, Wood Family Trust, ConocoPhillips and Invista for investing in our industry programs,” said Amy Mundy, VC’s executive director of College Advancement and VC Foundation. “They have played an integral part in what you see here today.”