AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - New additions to Amarillo College's East Campus are intended to enhance the curriculum of two programs with state of the art facilities and better technology.
A new airplane hangar for the aviation program, and new expanded work space and hydraulics equipment for the diesel program are now ready for students starting at AC this fall.
Students and staff said these upgrades will make a huge difference in what and how they learn.
The new 7,900 square foot Harrington Aviation Center houses the planes students use in their aviation labs.
They tear apart every piece of the plane and put it back together throughout the semester.
Before the new hangar was finished, these planes were not on campus and they had to travel for class.
"It's definitely a blessing to the aviation program," said Claudia Villegas, a student in the Aviation Management program. "It is very pretty and it accommodates all of us really well... We have a lot of room to walk where we didn't have that before, so that's really awesome for us."
Next door the expansion of the Kritser Diesel Program building will allow the automotive and diesel programs to have their own spaces, instead of being cramped in together.
An new hydraulics equipment means a new class starting this fall.
Hydraulics training is important for diesel students to use when they start to work professionally fixing trains, trucks, tractors, combines and more..
"Some [students] in the past have wondered why we didn't have hydraulics training, so they're excited," said Brian Jacob, Coordinator of AC's Automotive, Diesel and Collision programs. "Some of the students that have already graduated have already told me that they're going to come back and take the hydraulics class."
The diesel and aviation facility upgrades are meant to bring more advanced technology to these programs, and attract more students.
"We definitely have the space and we're always looking for new students to come in," said Megan Eikner, Dean of Technical Education. "That new space will really allow us to enhance the opportunities for students there and the technologies that we're able to introduce them to."
These projects were completed thanks to funding from the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation.