Craven Community College (Craven CC) celebrated the completion of its new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 18. The advanced facility is located on the college’s Havelock campus and recently opened its doors in time for the spring semester.
“This is an exciting moment in the college’s history, particularly for our Havelock campus,” said Dr. Ray Staats, Craven CC president. “Opening this state-of-the-art facility completes a strategic journey that was more than 10 years in the making. The STEM Center complements our many technology-focused programs on the campus and is the perfect venue for our partnerships with Early College EAST and the NC State Mechanical Engineering program.”
The building contains eight classrooms, two science and engineering labs, six offices and a conference room. It will be used to help prepare students for high-demand STEM careers. It also serves as the new home of the NC State Engineering program. This exclusive partnership program between the college and NC State allows students to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Systems from NC State without leaving the Havelock campus.
Additionally, the facility hosts Early College EAST (Eastern Applied Sciences and Technology), an innovative educational opportunity for selected high school students in the Craven County School System. The Early College provides a unique educational experience for students by merging real-time project-based learning and technology. Students in this five-year program have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree that can be transferred to any North Carolina public university through the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement.
“We are pleased to have this incredible asset to enhance learning opportunities,” said Wally Calabrese, Dean of the Havelock campus. “The opening of the STEM Center is a culmination of many years of strategic planning and partnerships. We’re proud to offer a top-of-the-line facility that will serve our students for years to come.”
The State Board of Community Colleges approved the STEM Center project on Jan. 20, 2017. It is largely funded through the NC Connect Bond, of which $5,376,640 was allocated for new construction, repairs and renovations to the college. Construction on the approximately 16,000-square-foot structure began in Dec. 2018.
“Our campus already provides the quality programs,” added Calabrese. “The STEM Center will provide the technology and workspace needed for students to reach their full potentials.”
To register for classes on the Havelock campus, visit www.cravencc.edu/admissions or stop by the Redd Building. For more information on Craven CC’s NC State Engineering program, contact Dr. Bill Fortney at 252-514-5956.