Estrella Mountain Community College and Gateway Community College-Southwest Skill Center.

A $31 million expansion project includes additional classrooms, offi ce space and renovatons for Estrella Mountain Community College and Gateway Community College-Southwest Skill Center. (Photo courtesy Estrella Mountain Community College)

The Maricopa Community College District Governing Board approved a proposal for a $31 million expansion project that includes additional classrooms and office space, as well as renovations, to serve Estrella Mountain Community College and Gateway Community College-Southwest Skill Center.

The district will fund the project over multiple fiscal years. The project affects two college, but both are at EMCC.

The new centrally located 37,000-square-foot building will contain 10 academic multiuse classrooms, four flex labs, faculty and administrative offices, and student support space. The new building will also include 6,000 square feet of vocational/occupational labs allocated in support of the ongoing partnership with GWCC- SWSC.

Additionally, the expansion project includes renovation work in the GWCC Southwest Skills Center on the EMCC campus as well as a new biology lab and support space in Montezuma Hall, and remodeling of the Komatke-A building for enrollment services. It will accommodate existing and future student population growth. Furthermore, EMCC will make the necessary improvements to the chilled water system at the central plant to support the new construction and build an additional parking lot to meet increasing student needs.

“At this point, our campus has depleted all available space for faculty and program offices, which has a huge impact on our enrollment growth,” said EMCC President Dr. Ernest Lara, who has been in his role since 2007.

“We now have growing wait lists for classes due to a shortage of instructional space. The communities we serve have clearly demonstrated their desire to take advantage of opportunities to further their education on our campus. The leadership team at Estrella Mountain is ecstatic about the expansion project. By approving our request, the governing board recognizes this campus is a springboard for occupational and entrepreneurial opportunities that will enhance economic growth in the West Valley.”

EMCC leadership will request funds, as needed, across multiple fiscal years. With a $7 million budget and projected completion date in August 2021, remodeling of current buildings will likely begin next month.

The budget for the new building along with related infrastructure improvements is $24 million. EMCC anticipates construction will begin February 2020 and the expected occupancy date is January 2021. For more details about the approved expansion project, visit district.maricopa.edu/board-operations/current-agenda.