CCCC opens 'front door' to Lee Campus

03-19-2013
College & Community, Facilities/Buildings

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College's Lee County Campus now has a "front door": the Bell Welcome Center.

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Located to the left of the plaza at the campus' main entrance, the 7,680-square-foot Bell Welcome Center houses the Admissions, Testing, and Career Counseling offices of the Student Services Division of the college.

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Those three offices are the first that entering students have contact with as they come to the college. They had been in the same tight quarters in Hockaday Hall since 1975. In the intervening 38 years, the college has grown from about 1,300 curriculum students to approximately 4,500.

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"The Bell Welcome Center is now CCCC's front door," said President Bud Marchant. "This Center houses the offices that entering students will deal with as they enroll and receive advising and testing to help plan their college program. It is, indeed, a welcoming place that will enable these students to have a positive experience as they begin their CCCC career. The offices and labs in this building will also provide vital support services for all our students."

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The 7,680-square-foot building that is now the Bell Welcome Center was first constructed in 1973 as the college's Adult Education Building, at a cost of $165,000. In 1975, it was renamed Bell Building, in honor of Dr. Edwin A. Bell, who had been director of the evening school from 1966 to 1973. Bell was the first person to have one of the college's buildings named after him.

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"The Trustees wanted to keep the Bell name attached to this building based on his past honor for his hard work, but wanted the building to reflect its new role," said Ken Hoyle, CCCC vice president of Student Services, "hence the name 'Bell Welcome Center'."

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The facility previously served as the location of Lee Early College from 2006 to 2012. LEC is a collaboration of Lee County Schools and CCCC in which students enter as ninth graders and, within five years, can earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost. In 2012, LEC moved into portable facilities located at the back of the college's campus.

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The repair and renovation work on the 40-year-old building to change it into the Bell Welcome Center was done with about $74,000 in state repair and renovations funds.

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"We always want to give the best experience to our applicants and students," Hoyle said. "The tremendous growth of the college and the lack of expanded space for Admissions, Testing, and Career Counseling made it necessary to move them."

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Those functions now are located in a larger, more convenient, and up-to-date environment. A lobby/reception area, waiting area, conference room, four counselor offices, testing area, Placement Center, Career Center, and Recruitment Center were created from the facility's old classroom and office space.

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Avron Upchurch, retired CCCC vice president, first came to the college as the coordinator of the Agricultural Technology program in 1962 and retired in 1994 as executive vice president and chief academic officer. Then, it was the Lee County Industrial Education Center.

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"This building has a lot of history," he said. "In 1989, CCCC was the first community college in North Carolina to use computers to teach English composition on a college-wide basis. That took place in this building. Now, this is a big step forward to have the Bell Welcome Center. It gives an excellent first impression as people walk onto the campus. It shows that the college is interested in incoming students and their futures."

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For more information about services offered by the Student Services Division, go to www.cccc.edu/studentservices.

CCCC opens 'front door' to Lee Campus

Former and current directors of Central Carolina Community College and Student Services administrators joined CCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Julian Philpott (center, left) in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the college's new Bell Welcome Center at its Lee County Campus. The Center serves as the college's 'front door,' where new students can receive counseling, assessments, and testing in one location. Joining in the ribbon-cutting were (from left) Dr. Matt Garrett, college president from 2004-2008, who started at the college as associate dean for Student Development in 1985; Hubert Garner, director of Student Services starting in 1965, then dean of Student Development Services from 1971-1991; Avron Upchurch, who started as an instructor in 1962 and retired in 1994 as executive vice president and chief academic officer; Philpott; Ken Hoyle, vice president of Student Services; Jamie Childress, dean of Enrollment Management/Registration; Jamee Stiffler, dean of Admissions ; and Heather Willett, dean of Student Support Services. The Center was created from Bell Hall, which was built in 1973 as the Adult Education Center, the second building on the Lee County Campus. It was renamed in 1975 for Dr. Edwin A. Bell, coordinator of evening programs from 1966 to 1973. He was the first person to have one of the college's buildings named after him. CCCC President Dr. Bud Marchant was out of town for a conference and unable to attend the ribbon cutting. For more information about services offered by the Student Services Division, go to www.cccc.edu/studentservices/.

CCCC opens 'front door' to Lee Campus

Central Carolina Community College's Lee County Campus now has a 'front door': the Bell Welcome Center. The former Bell Hall, located to the left of the plaza at the campus' main entrance, has been renovated and now houses the Admissions, Testing, and Career Counseling offices of the Student Services Division of the college. Those three offices are the first that entering students have contact with as they come to the college. The offices were moved from tight quarters in Hockaday Hall, where they had been since 1975. The more spacious facility at the main entrance to the campus provides a welcoming atmosphere as well as increased access to services for students. The 7,680-square-foot building was first constructed in 1973 as the college's Adult Education Building. In 1975, it was renamed Bell Building, in honor of Dr. Edwin A. Bell, who had been director of the evening school from 1966 to 1973. Bell was the first person to have one of the college's buildings named after him. The Bell name has been retained to continue to honor his service to the college. For more information about services offered by the Student Services Division, go to www.cccc.edu/studentservices/.

CCCC opens 'front door' to Lee Campus

Central Carolina Community College's Lee County Campus now has a 'front door': the Bell Welcome Center. The former Bell Hall, located to the left of the plaza at the campus' main entrance, has been renovated and now houses the Admissions, Testing, and Career Counseling offices of the Student Services Division of the college. Those three offices are the first that entering students have contact with as they come to the college. The March 18 open house and ribbon cutting for the facility attracted former and current employees and trustees, including (front, from left) trustees Martha Underwood, Bobby Powell and Julian Philpott (behind Powell). The facility now has a welcoming lobby and waiting area as well as expanded areas for admissions, testing and career counseling services. For more information about services offered by the Student Services Division, go to www.cccc.edu/studentservices/.