The new COM Conference Center served as the hub for Spring Convocation on Jan. 14 as staff and faculty members gathered to hear an update on the college from President Dr. Warren Nichols.

Nichols welcomed the group to the conference center which allowed all staff and faculty to gather in one location on campus for the first time. During prior convocations held in the LRC auditorium, an overflow location had to be provided.

“COM is here for our community,” Nichols told the group as he explained that the conference center will be utilized not just for college activities but will be open to community members. “I feel good about you and I feel good about the college.”

Nichols said all underground pipes have been replaced throughout campus and the only remaining project under a $16.2 million maintenance tax note is the Student Center. Substantial completion of the Student Center is expected by March 1 with total completion by April.

With the passage of the $162.5 million bond referendum, a ground breaking for the new STEAM/Allied Health Building is expected sometime in March. Originally, the plan called for the three new buildings to be built one after another. However, with the flooding of the Administration Building in September and concerns about foundation issues in the building, the plans now call for the STEAM/Allied Health Building and new Student Success Center to be built simultaneously followed by a new Industrial Careers Building.

Employees housed in the Administration Building will relocate to the Student Center while the Administration Building is demolished and the Student Success Center is built in its place.

The two new buildings should be complete by 2021.