Although the building isn't under construction yet, Tyler Junior College's new nursing and health sciences building soon will start taking shape.
The college took another step toward the start of construction on Thursday when the board approved HGR+Turner Joint Venture as the construction manager at risk for the project.
That company will oversee the planning, coordination and control of the $50 million project, which is being funded through a combination of public and private funds as well as student user fees.
TJC administrators briefed the board of directors about the project's progress during the monthly workshop.
Dr. Rita Allen, administrative assistant for special projects, has been leading weekly committee meetings with TJC President Dr. Mike Metke and five other college administrators.
This executive committee represents the college's academic, financial, facility and information technology interests and is helping to guide the project in its planning stages.
In addition, a community task force made up of about 40 local leaders from the government, medical, education and business sectors meets about once every six weeks, college spokesman Fred Peters said.
Peters said these are people who can provide valuable input for the project, and Metke said this group is made up of people who helped the college get to this point.
In addition to these groups, the college has formed advisory committees for each of the new planned programs.
Some of the new degree programs the college is planning to add are physical therapist assistant, occupational therapist assistant, personal fitness trainer, massage therapist and basic cardiovascular technology.
The college also is considering 13 new certification programs.
All of the new programs have to go through a multi-step approval process, although the degree programs process is more extensive taking about 18 months, Dr. Clayton Allen, dean of professional and technical programs, said.
Metke said the college considered national and local data to determine the top health-related programs.
It also is relying on the expertise of local leaders to help plan these programs.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK
The selected company, HGR+Turner Joint Venture, is the same company selected to build Smith County's downtown jail addition. It is a joint venture between Tyler-based HGR General Contractors and Dallas-based Turner Construction Co.
Bill King, TJC facilities and construction executive director, said Turner is one of the largest, if not the largest, construction company in the world.
HGR+Turner proposed the lowest bid of the three at $1.8 million. That price will change slightly once a guaranteed maximum price is determined.
In September, the board approved the hiring of SmithGroupJJR as the lead architectural firm for the project. That company is one of the largest architecture, engineering and planning firms, according to its website.
The company held its first programming meetings on campus this week. Monday through Wednesday company representatives met with TJC nursing and allied health faculty and talked about programmatic needs.
The company representatives also met with the college's executive planning committee, walked the location for the building and heard from students about the facility needs.
Metke said having the two companies together represents a great partnership.
“It seems a like a good fit where we've got the two top firms in the country working together,” Metke said.
The new system, Instructure Inc., will cost $618,000 over five years with the money coming from the college's technology fund.
The college's current system is Blackboard, but faculty members were dissatisfied with the program's capabilities, Peters said.
Through a negotiation with Blackboard, the college saved $70,000 on its existing contract, which will expire next fall.
The college will run the new and old systems concurrently until then, Peters said.