Augusta Tech gives sneak peek at new auto training center
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’ve previewed several of the “big 5″ projects that are turning Augusta Technical College into a destination school.
Augusta Tech gave us a sneak peek at their new state-of-the-art automotive facility.
Once finished in the fall of 2025, students will be able to get hands-on education in several up-and-coming automotive fields, including electric vehicle work.
Funds from Augusta National, the Knox Foundation and Jim Hudson Automotive Group made it possible.
All are geared towards one goal: hands-on training to fill mechanic shortages.
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As cars become smarter, Augusta Technical College President Dr. Jermaine Whirl said the only way to stay in the game, is to stay ahead of it. As one student puts it, the former car dealership is like a new playground for them.
“As a car guy, or for anybody who loves cars, this is an absolute playground. If you walk through the building and see just how fast it’s going to be. It is impeccable,” said Christian Rabun.
After serving our country for eight years, Rabun said working on cars became his therapy.
“We just completed the electrical portion of our first semester. What that allowed me to do is have a deeper understanding of how vehicles work on the electrical side, especially with the advancements of vehicles,” said Rabun.
Rabun is one of 120 students in the growing program, but within the next two years, they’re expecting it to expand to up to 600 with this new facility.
Whirl said: “If you think about what we currently have, now we’re in about 11,000 square feet of space. It’s tight. Our enrollment can’t grow, because we don’t have space. The move from 11,000 to 65,000 really provides a new opportunity for us to not only grow in terms of enrollment but also technology and programming.”
It’s state-of-the-art training, with tools and skills from front to back.
“Diesel repair will be happening here, auto body collision, these are two new programs, and then really an expansion of electrical vehicle hybrid vehicle repair, which is a growing marketplace,” said Dr. Whirl.
Department Head Christopher Davis said: “We roughly have about 20 bays. We’re hoping to have everything 12 and 14 lifts total in the automotive shop to make it as real world as much as possible.”
Construction is set to be finished by the fall of 2025.
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