Building renovation, instructional site changes highlight current status

Snead State update...

Architect’s drawing of front elevation of renovated administration building. The 412-seat Fielder Auditorium is located on near end of building.

Architect’s drawing of front elevation of renovated administration building. The 412-seat Fielder Auditorium is located on near end of building.

The historic Snead State administration building, built in 1921 and under renovation since last fall, is on schedule to be completed by this summer, in time for the fall semester 2012.

The $8 million project includes nine classrooms, seven faculty offices, the president’s office, Academic Administration office, and the Academic Planning and Research office.

Math classes now held in the new Elrod Science Building across the street will move into the completed administration building. A Snead Heritage room and space for the college cyber-library is included in the plans as well.

Rear view of building showing new kitchen/banquet room addition in center of photo.

Rear view of building showing new kitchen/banquet room addition in center of photo.

A major component of the 29,519 square-foot building has been the renovation of Fielder Auditorium, an important piece of the college’s heritage located in the building’s north wing. The auditorium will have a 412- seat capacity and will be used once again as a lecture/recital hall.

A new catering kitchen and commons/ banquet room (visible as the central addition projecting between the end wings on the back of the building) will be added to provide a gathering area for students and a place to suport college events.

The renovation compelements the 2010 $1.5 million renovation of the Norton Social Sciences building, and the 2006 construction of the Elrod Sciences Building and Elder Hall dormitory.

Blount County Instructional Site closed

Snead State’s Blount County Instructional Site at the Career Tech school was closed early this year because of low enrollment and funding reasons. In addition, many studentrs were traveling to the Boaz campus for classes or taking advantage of online class option rather than attending the Blount County site. The nursing program at the site was closed last year. Snead State Interim Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jason Watts commented on the instructional site closing:

“We made the difficult decision to temporarily stop offering coursework in Blount County for financial reasons. Enrollments in our courses there were usually small, and we could not justify the expense due to proration and a large cut in our state appropriation.

“We are offering dual enrollment coursework for students from the Oneonta and Blount County systems this summer at Oneonta High School, and hope that a successful partnership will enable us to begin offering courses to all residents of the county in the near future.

“We are hopeful that, as the economy improves, we will have the resources to create a full-service instruction site in Blount County.”

Of interest to graduating seniors

Snead State director of marketing Shelley Smith said the college has made changes to help students with costs of education.

“Snead State has financial assistance available in the form of grants and scholarships, and we offer a payment plan to aid students in paying for their education,” she said. We hope to have an additional option available for them starting this fall: student loans. As details are finalized, we’ll make that information availabe.”

Smith said the college has also created a Student Success and Career Center to increase the number of students who hold an associate’s degree or higher by providing opportunities for academic development and personal enrichment, as well as assisting them in their efforts to graduate. Smith said Snead State was the first college in Alabama to sign on to the College Completion Challenge to increase the number of students holding an associate’s degree or higher by 55 percent.