Front Range Community College celebrated the opening of a renovated classroom building and a new greenhouse this month at the Westminster Campus.
The renovation turned a vacant campus building into a 9,894-square-foot visual arts center. The state-of-the-art 2,905 square-foot greenhouse will give Horticulture and Landscape Technologies students and Horticulture Business Management students the hands-on training in demand by the Colorado green industry.
“Strong arts programs build important foundations for our transfer students and are resources for the communities we serve,” said President Andy Dorsey. “The greenhouse is just one part of our ongoing effort to meet local workforce needs and provide good jobs for area residents. It represents our commitment to invest in facilities that can help students learn key skills.
“On average,” Dorsey said, “our graduates with associate degrees in technical fields are making over $55,000 per year in their first year out of college.”
The visual arts center, referred to as the South Classroom Building, includes a ceramics studio with two electric kilns, a jewelry art studio, two 2D art studios a general purpose classroom, and an office for art instructors. One hallway features a critique wall for students to display work in progress.
The greenhouse has two sections – a headhouse, which is a lab classroom, and the greenhouse. A portion of the exterior site will be used as a landscape-construction skills yard and a teaching lab to demonstrate how to install irrigation systems.
Its construction was supported with $150,000 from the Colorado Garden Foundation and $100,000 from the Boettcher Foundation. Other key contributors were the Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation and Happy Transplants Garden Club. In-kind donations came from Arthur Vasquez, flagstone for the greenhouse signage; Hunter Industries, irrigation supplies; Little Valley Wholesale Nursery, trees; Pavestone Company, blocks and pavers, and Rain Bird Corporation, irrigation supplies.
About Front Range Community College
FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.