Ranger College OKs Stephenville campus, gym renovations

Photo by Tommy Wells/Ranger College Paul Waldrop Jr. of Waldrop Construction, shows a diagram of planned renovations to the Erath County Campus to members of the Ranger College Board of Regents on Monday. The $2 million project to convert the former bowling complex into the college’s new Advanced Training Center were approved by the board on June 29.

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by Tommy Wells, Public Information Officer for Ranger College

RANGER – Improvements are coming to the Ranger College campuses in Stephenville and Ranger. And they’re coming soon.

The Ranger College Board of Regents voted unanimously on Monday, June 29, to authorize construction projects at its Stephenville campus, as well as to the Ron Butler Gymnasium on its main campus. The improvements are expected to cost in excess of $2 million, with the bulk of those coming during the conversion of the former Texas Lanes bowling complex into the college’s new Advanced Training Center.

“These are improvements that are greatly needed to help the college better serve the people in the entire area,” said RC President Dr. William Campion. “I think both projects will make Ranger College become a better and more attractive place.”

At its meeting, the college’s governing board approved architectural plans for the renovation of the former bowling alley property into a multi-functional facility that will house the college’s new welding and EMT/Paramedic/Fire Science programs, as well as a daycare training operation.

According to Paul Waldrop Jr., with Waldrop Construction, the conversion of the current 20,000-foot building would be divided into two phases and cost approximately $1.9 million. The first phase of the new ATC project will be the completion of the welding labs. Waldrop said work would begin on Phase I within the next few weeks and could be completed shortly after the start of the Fall semester.

In Phase II, the daycare portion of the facility will be created, as will a third space that will eventually become the home for the college’s EMT/Paramedic/Fire Science program.

The daycare portion of the new facility will be separated from the other portions of the complex by a three-hour firewall, and will have its own secure entrance, and an outdoor playground.

Ranger College appropriated $2.85 million for the project last year through the sale of bonds.

In addition to making improvements in Stephenville, the board authorized Waldrop Construction to make several needed improvements to the Ron Butler Gymnasium on the RC campus. As part of the renovations, the men’s and women’s locker rooms and shower areas will be upgraded and brought into compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Additionally, the board gave its tentative approval to the purchase of a modular building that could serve as locker rooms/shower facilities for softball, soccer and cross country athletes. The purchase is contingent upon funding being obtained from outside sources.

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