(MOBILE, ALA.,) August 5, 2020 - One week after the official groundbreaking for Bishop State Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC), there is still an exciting buzz on campus. There of course are cranes cranking and bulldozers buzzing, but there is still a sense of pride for what is to come.

The two major projects underway on campus include the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Center and the Health Sciences Building. These projects are the first construction projects on the college campus in well over a decade. The Advanced Manufacturing Center will connect to what used to be the administration building on one side. The new portion will connect from the admin building to what is currently the M-TECH building. The former admin portion of the building will hold classrooms and offices to support the training labs that will be in the AMC.

The world-class facility will allow the College to train skilled workers to meet the workforce needs of businesses and industries in the Mobile service area and region. Bishop State will offer programs supported by industry-experienced leaders and state-of-the-art industry-approved equipment. These programs include:

  • Process & Maintenance Technology
  • Process Instrumentation Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Automated Engineering Technology
  • Machine Tool/CNC Technology
  • Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
  • Industrial Technology [Mechanics, Fluid Power (Hydraulics & Pneumatics)]

“Bishop State will have the only training facility of this kind in this region,” says Bishop State President Dr. Reggie Sykes. “Students, incumbent workers, and dual enrollment students will be equipped with the knowledge and technical skills needed to become successfully employed in Mobile County’s high-wage, high-demand, and high-tech economy.”

The $17M project will take about a year and a half to complete.

The second construction project is the renovation of the current library which will be converted into a $4M modern health sciences facility for the nursing and PTA programs. The new facility will increase opportunities for Bishop State to offer state-of-the-art simulation teaching labs that will allow skill development and real-time feedback on students’ clinical experience that will support the healthcare facilities in our region.

“You won’t recognize this place in the next several months!” says Sykes. “I can’t wait for students to start learning and training on state-of-the-art equipment in these amazing facilities which will prepare them for a great future. My goal and my commitment to you is for Bishop State to become recognized as the workforce training hub in this region.”

The health sciences building will take about one year to complete.

The groundbreaking was a reflection of the College’s theme “It’s A Different World.” Head nods and elbow bumps replaced the expected congratulatory pats-on-the-back, handshakes, and hugs. Face masks were worn by all guests throughout the duration of the ceremony and they were spaced six feet apart from one another. There were hand sanitizing stations along the perimeter of the tent. However, none of these changes hindered the mission of the day which was to celebrate the different world on the horizon for Bishop State.

“The Board of Trustees has always been supportive of Bishop State’s mission,” says Al Thompson, the chairman of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees. “But when we unanimously approved the recommendation of a $21M bond issue presented by Chancellor Baker and President Sykes to fund this major capital improvement, we put our money where our mouth was. Thereby, showing our confidence in the future of Bishop State as well as our confidence in the future of the City of Mobile and Mobile County.”

“The Mobile County Legislative Delegation is... proud that Bishop State Community College is among Mobile’s institutions of higher learning,” says Adline Clarke, State House of Representative for House District 97. “We are especially proud that Bishop State has maintained its status as an HBCU with such a rich history in this area. And we are also very proud that it now has a very diverse population of students from throughout the Mobile area.”

“We (the Mobile County Commission) share Bishop State’s dream of bringing people from every part of the county -- really every part of the region -- onto this campus,” says Merceria Ludgood, Vice President of the Mobile County Commission, District 1.

“It is a great day! I’m glad to be here,” says Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “But I’m more excited for the students who will come and walk through these doors and fill our businesses, provide for their families, and change this community for the better of everybody.”

“It’s all about those students who come to this school every day and do the work that they are asked to do and learn to deal with the things they must learn to deal with in order to be qualified to do a variety of jobs,” commented Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker. “Our goal is to make this the best experience that a student can ever have to come to this school. We are doing it. We have the leadership at this school to make it happen and as we go forward, I’m just expecting for things to not just be better but be great and serve this part of the state at a level that everyone in this audience should be and would be proud of.”

Click here to watch the groundbreaking ceremony in its entirety.

Click here to see photos from the ceremony.


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