College renovations begin this fall

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Moody Learning Center, Nail Technical Center and the nursing education building 

will be getting a facelift.

By Joyce Flores

In the fall, renovation of the nursing education building, Moody Learning Center and Nail Technical Center begins.

The board of trustees had hoped that the renovations would be funded by the $450 million bond passed in 2005, but inflation caused the projects to be deferred.

Instead, the district is using $20 million of maintenance tax notes, but the number could change if the plans change, John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities, said.

Strybos also said that as soon as the new nursing and academic buildings are finished, contractors will begin a two-year process to renovate the three buildings.

Most of the plans are tentative and rely on the new buildings being completed on time so that the parts of Moody and the nursing education buildings are cleared out and ready for renovations.

Many of the programs that are now housed in Moody will be relocated to the academic building.

“The evil escalators will be fixed,” Strybos added.

He said that the main cause of problems with the escalators is that almost half of Moody is used as classrooms, which cause a heavy student flow.

Once the renovations in Moody are completed, the psychology department will be the only department that will still be housed in the building.

“It will be as good as the new buildings,” Strybos said.

David Mrizek, vice president for college services, has met with various user groups — employees who will use the space — to plan the layout of the buildings.

The academic building will be three floors, allowing for an expansion of the foreign languages and English-as-a-second-language, philosophy, continuing education and business departments.

The occupants of the nursing education building will be moved into the new nursing and allied health building.

Once renovations to the nursing education building are finished, it will be renamed the student success center and house the student support services project, Gateway to College, service learning, student development and the Internet skills center.

The women’s center will be moving to a building next to Seguir Adelante, 703 Howard St., which will be built with a grant the center received, Mrizek said.

The opening of the new buildings will clear the fifth floor of Moody and parts of the first, second, fourth and seventh floors.

The new nursing building will house nursing education and allied health departments.

The move of the allied health department will empty some of the first floor of Nail Technical Center, Mrizek said.

Nail will see an expansion of mortuary science and American Sign Language and interpreter training departments.

The plan is for the users of the basement and second floor of Nail to be moved to Moody while Nail and the nursing education building is renovated, Mrizek said.

Once those renovations are done, the occupants will be moved back into their buildings and renovation on Moody will begin.

Mrizek said the plan is to clear out the top two floors of Moody and begin renovations there.

“The advantage of blocking the two floors is you don’t have issues with safety (of students),” Mrizek said.

The renovations will last two years. 

He said that if they did the renovations in a different way, like doing parts of one floor at a time, the project would likely take three to five years.

He also said they may add three or four external, high-speed elevators. Mrizek said to replace the escalators would take a full year and cost $3 million. The elevators can be installed at half the cost and in six months.

“We don’t want to stretch renovations till the turn of the century,” he said.

The escalators will be removed and a grand staircase will be built.

The library will expand to fill the fourth floor and will add group study rooms.

A computer math lab is planned for the fifth floor because the math department did not have room for it in McCreless Hall, Mrizek said.

Plans for the buildings can be seen online at


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