PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College marked the grand opening of the new Central Campus Welcome Center Wednesday, Aug. 25, with elected officials, community members, faculty, and staff.
Though the new facility officially began serving students in 2020, the grand opening event was delayed due to restrictions with COVID-19.
The new 43,000-square-foot building is a central hub for student services, including educational planning, financial aid, enrollment services, business office, testing, veteran services, career services, and orientation and campus tours.
"We are continually looking at how we can better serve our students with new facilities that meet them where they are as today's modern student," said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. "This centralized location for student services is just one of the ways we are ensuring that students have access to all of the essential enrollment and financial services they need to succeed in completing their associate degree or technical certificate."
The building also has a new computer lab and multi-purpose room to serve as a space for workshops, trainings, campus events, orientations, and presentations.
"At San Jacinto College, we focus on removing barriers for our students," said Joanna Zimmerman, associate vice chancellor of student services. "This welcome center is a one-stop shop for our students to get all of the assistance they need to help get them enrolled — and stay enrolled — at the College."
The Welcome Center is one of several new facilities throughout the district that was approved in 2015 through a $425 million bond referendum approved by voters. The referendum allowed San Jacinto College to build new facilities, remodel nine buildings that are at least 30 years old, and update infrastructure and security.
"In addition to the Welcome Center, we are excited about the opening of a new classroom building that is constructed of mass timber," said Van A. Wigginton, Central Campus provost. "This new instructional building will represent a first for our region and our nation. When the doors to this new building open later this year, it will represent the largest instructional building in the U.S. constructed from mass timber."
For more information and updates to the newest construction projects, visit sanjac.edu/bond.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College's impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's.