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Westmoreland County Community College approves $1.2M for workforce facility

| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Westmoreland County Community College trustees approved more than $1.2 million in equipment purchases and contracts on Wednesday for the college's Advanced Technology Center.

The center, set to be completed this summer in 73,500 square feet of the former Sony plant in East Huntingdon, will house WCCC's workforce development programs, such as welding, electronics, metallurgy and mechatronics that squeeze into about 18,000 square feet on the main campus near Youngwood.

“If anyone was wondering if we were serious about the Advanced Technology Center, most (of the purchases) tonight were for the equipment for the new center” and moving existing items to the center, said Larry Larese, chairman of the board of trustees.

The largest purchase, at $756,216, was for classroom and office furniture from Westmoreland Contract Furniture. The purchase is contingent upon the company providing a 10 percent bid bond, or good faith payment, that the college will hold until all work is complete.

Other purchases include:

• $149,694 for Amatrol troubleshooting equipment and $133,963 for Amatrol motor control, fluid power and industrial wiring equipment and the related software, both from Allegheny Educational Systems, funded by federal grants.

• $79,214 for measurement and control equipment that will tie into the natural gas well training systems from Equipment & Controls Inc., funded by a federal ShaleNet grant.

• $41,990 for a skid-mounted gas production unit, also used in the gas well training systems, from Pride of the Hills Manufacturing Inc., funded by a ShaleNet grant.

Trustees approved a $33,200 contract with Castle Service and Installation to pack and move materials from the Business and Industry Center on the main campus and install them at the Advanced Technology Center.

In other business, trustees voted to authorize college President Daniel Obara to seek approval for a second phase of renovations to campus facilities under the college's master plan from Westmoreland County, the college's sponsor, and the state Department of Education.

Projects could include renovations to Founders, Science and Commissioners halls, the Business and Industry Center and the parking lots and grounds, all on the campus near Youngwood.

Renovations would be paid for using funds from the current and future capital campaigns.

Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or kandren@tribweb.com.

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