EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Community College opened its doors to the new expansion of the Mission del Paso campus Friday located in far east El Paso.

One of the five EPCC campuses located throughout El Paso, the Mission del Paso campus is the college’s fastest-growing campus, EPCC officials said.

During the grand opening of the new campus, EPCC President, William Serrata, said that attending and graduating college is becoming more important because jobs of the future will require a college degree or certificate.

“EPCC is committed to ensuring high-quality experiences and opportunities for students. This state-of-the-art building at the Mission del Paso Campus will provide many innovative opportunities that will help us reach our goal of educating more students, placing them on a path to completing their degrees and increasing educational attainment in our region.”

William Serrata, EPCC President

The campus expansion added a new building with 60,000 additional square feet which will provide opportunities for students to learn and interact with faculty and with one another. 

“This building will allow us to expand our course offerings and develop new and more opportunities for students,” said Joshua Villalobos, Mission Del Paso Campus dean.

The state-of-the-art facility will provide enhanced technology and spaces for students, EPPC officials said. Besides additional labs and classrooms, a flexitorium space will promote interactive learning, accommodating everything from lectures to performances to guest speakers and special events. Students will have access to many tools for an enhanced learning experience, including:

  • 3D printers to augment the learning experience in biology, geology and other classes
  • ER Stream table will replicate surfaces processes of streams and rivers for geology student presentations
  • a GigaMacro creates high-resolution photographs of specimens for students to use online to see minute details 
  • Virtual Reality Sand Box, to create virtual reality models of landscapes that can be altered instantaneously
  • Zspace tablets which create 3D virtual reality images that can be used to convey complex 3-dimentional concepts in biology, physics, and geology.  

“These campus transformations will ensure that EPCC has the capacity to serve now and into the future,” EPCC officials said.

“I like coming to EPCC because it is close to my house and work,” Veronica Martinez, a student who is studying biology said. “I’m excited to take classes in the new building, especially in the new labs.”  

“The new building will help students succeed and focus on school since the facility was designed to encourage students to remain on campus for longer periods of time,” said David Raley, history professor at EPCC.

The new building features several areas for students to sit and collaborate with others in a quiet and studious environment. This promotes interaction between students as well as gives more opportunities for students and faculty to engage, both inside and outside the classroom. 

“EPCC prepares students for success by providing a world-class educational experience, with excellent and relevant programs of study, dedicated and passionate faculty, and up-to-date facilities and technology,”

David Raley, history professor at EPCC

EPCC underwent a comprehensive “master planning” process that involved input from students, faculty, staff, and the community.

To enhance student experiences and to prepare for future growth, EPCC’s master plan recommended multiple phases of construction to expand facilities. The Mission del Paso building is one of these projects. 

Investing in campus improvement needs and making sure EPCC has the capacity to serve students with additional classroom and laboratory space, state-of-the-art learning experiences and improved technology is part of the college’s ongoing strategic plan, EPCC officials said.

“El Paso Community College is committed to transforming students’ futures by providing high quality and affordable education opportunities for our region. With globalized economies and emerging technologies changing both the education and employment landscape, EPCC remains committed to being the best place to start and finish.”

Brian haggerty, epcc board of trustees chair

To learn more about the new building, visit https://buildthefuture.epcc.edu/building-the-future.

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