LUMBERTON — The Robeson Community College trustees on Monday approved two architectural firms to design a new burn tower and classrooms at the Emergency Services Training Center in Lumberton.
The burn tower and associated firefighting facilities will be designed by Moseley Architects of Mooresville. The classrooms will be designed by the firm of Bowman, Murray Architects of Wilmington.
“The college is excited about the opportunity to expand training facilities and to expand the level and number of certifications we can offer,” said Channing Jones, RCC’s vice president of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.
The construction projects, each of which Jones said will cost about $2.2 million, are being paid for with RCC’s $7.2 million share of the $350 million made available to the 58 state community colleges through the Connect N.C. bond issue approved by voters in March. Jones said the $4.4 million includes additional lighting and construction of an estimated 100 paved parking spaces.
The two firms were selected from four whose proposals were considered by the trustees late last month. The firms were recommended by the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Jones said that the present burn tower is now only used for repelling and extracting training. For at least the past five years, he said, no live burns have been permitted because of safety concerns.
“These projects ensure we can train our firemen safely,” Jones said after Monday’s meeting. “Whenever our firefighters reply to a call, whether it be in regards to life or property, we can have greater assurance through training that they are approaching each situation as safely and competently as they can.”
Jones said that fire and rescue training is growing.
“Robeson County fire departments have historically supported fire training at RCC,” he said. “Last year more fire training certifications were issued at RCC than any other community college in the state. That can only happen when we have support of our local fire companies.”
The trustees Monday also recognized Rose Avant, the executive assistant to the college president and secretary to the board of trustees, on her retirement, which is effective Jan. 1.
In addition to the traditional framed resolution recognizing her more than 17 years of service to the college, the trustees presented Avant with $500 for her service to the board.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.