Drake State Joins the Revitalization of Downtown Huntsville
(Huntsville, Alabama)- Dr. Helen McAlpine, President of Drake State Technical College and Huntsville City Mayor, Tommy Battle were joined by State Board of Education Member, Dr. Mary Jane Caylor and Dr. Freida Hill, Chancellor of the Alabama Two Year College System in the official opening of the college’s downtown instructional site. The college recently completed a renovation on the lower level of the Historic Times Building at 228 Holmes Avenue North. Classes are being offered in the location for the spring semester. The site currently provides approximately 10,000 square feet of instructional and office space.
“This has truly been a cooperative effort by leaders from the downtown community, city officials and the college. We are delighted at the opportunity to provide additional instructional and workforce development programs which are paramount to the continued growth of our college and the economic development of our area,” says Dr. Helen McAlpine, President of Drake State Technical College.
The guiding principal behind the addition of the instructional site is the presence of a college in the downtown area. Research indicates a college would provide a much needed boost to the area through pedestrian traffic as well as offering additional training resources to businesses in the area.
"I'm excited that two groups that have each provided such a unique portion of Huntsville's history are combining here today in a move that will not only continue to provide first class education to the students of Drake State Technical College but will further our goal of revitalizing our beautiful downtown area,” comments Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle.
For the college, it provides additional instructional space as well as the opportunity to expand its offering of workforce development and continuing education programs.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the enrollment at Drake State swell to capacity. Classroom space and equipment is an important component of providing a quality education which is vital to our community. The addition of this class site will create a positive situation for everyone involved and that’s positive for the community,” sites Dr. Mary Jane Caylor, State Board of Education.
The current layout of the building provides computer labs, lecture style classrooms as well as meeting space. There is the opportunity to convert more of this existing space to instructional space for future growth.
“I am so pleased to see the tangible results of the cooperative efforts of Huntsville’s officials, business leaders and educational community,” said Dr. Freida Hill, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. “This essential collaboration ensures that the instructional programs provided by each of the two-year colleges represented in this city can fulfill the region’s workforce development needs and provide graduates with the necessary skills for success.”