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HCC North Forest opens new facilities

Ribbon cutting participants included HCC-NE President Monique Umphrey, Maxine Lane-Seals, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, HCC Chancelor Cesar Moldonado, HCC Board Chair Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Judge Joe Stephens, Millicent Edwards, and many others from the HCC and North Forest community, past and present.

NORTH FOREST – After many years of planning and construction, the Houston Community College Northeast finally was able to open their new North Forest expansion facilities at a ceremony last Tuesday morning. The complex of buildings will house a new academic wing, expanded work force offices, and a unique auto maintenance training facility.

Dr. Cesar Maldonado spoke about the importance of the new campus not only being an educational opportunity, but a driver of economic development for the whole community.

The hour-long ceremony was not only a chance for HCC educators to speak about the new programs and opportunities, but it also became somewhat of a reunion party for all the past North Forest school officials that had endured closure of their district, and hoped this was a closure of their educational future achievements.

The main speaker for the event was Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who had worked to save the old North Forest ISD, and now was able to help bring funding for the new community college campus to the area. She spoke about not only the present opportunities, but also a vision of expansion into a complete campus. She noted that there was a lot of vacant land adjacent, and saw the North Forest campus expanding again. She congratulated the community leaders that had worked hard to bring the campus into North Forest. She noted that it had taken several attempts to bring the promised funds into reality for the college.

Other speakers included the new president of the HCC-NE campus, Dr. Monique Umphrey; Reverand Charles Taylor, Sr.; HCC Chancelor Dr. Cesar Maldonado; State Representative Senfronia Thompson; HCC Board president Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz; and Maxine Lane-Seals representing the many previous North Forest board members and educators that were present for the ceremony.

The expanded campus consists of three main divisions:

ACADEMIC BUILDING – The new academic building offers a welcoming environment that includes new classrooms, a student lounge, community room and faculty workroom;

WORKFORCE BUILDING – Actually a renovation of the old North Forest Administration offices, this now houses Workforce functions offering welding, pipefitting, plumbing, and HVAC labs, classrooms, student collaboration space, and faculty offices;

AUTOMOTIVE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE – This new building offers high-tech training labs, classrooms, student collaboration and study space, and faculty offices. During the Open House, this building had a collection of unique autos, and a Fire Truck and EMS ambulance on display.

The HCC North Forest Campus is at 6010 E. Little York Road, at the corner of Homestead. Students are encouraged to tour the campus and enroll for the fall semester.

More information is available by calling 713- 718-5868 or on the web at nccs.edu/northforest.