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Calhoun starts 60th year Monday

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

As Calhoun Community College prepares for its 60th year, officials say campus construction will be finished when a possible record-setting fall semester begins Monday.

Students who didn’t attend summer classes may not recognize the campus.

Construction crews were completing the last of several new parking lots on campus last week.

Parking has been an issue in recent years with the college’s growth.

College officials project enrollment — which includes Decatur, Huntsville and Redstone Arsenal campuses and the Limestone Correctional Facility — will go over 9,000 for the second time and possibly set a school record. Calhoun last went over 9,000 in 2003-04.

“I’ll be surprised if we don’t go over 9,000,” President Marilyn Beck said.

Parking issues

Despite campus changes, Beck wouldn’t guarantee parking problems are a thing of the past.

She said the college will have security out directing traffic until students get used to the traffic flow.

Students should get used to walking farther to class.

“I’m sure there will be problems in the first few days when everyone drives their own car, but then most of the problems will be resolved,” Beck said.

“Students just won’t be able to park in front of their buildings. We’ve added a lot of parking on the back side of campus.”

Fall may be the first time some students see the $22 million Math-Science Building, which opened this summer and is the culmination of $44
million in construction projects.

Crews also demolished the Rice Science Building and the old portion of Harris Hall.

The work will continue into the school year as the campus undergoes a $2 million beautification project.

The project includes lighting, streets and signage, paved walkways and lots of green space.

The growth and more than $15 million in grants in recent years led to more academics offerings.

The college restructured its technologies curriculum and programs and added radiography, delayed progression nursing, massage therapy and biotechnology.

The college continues to develop its Center for Manufacturing Technology.

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