San Jacinto College opening new additions

New SJC Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology

By Sophia Primera

Construction is nearing completion on new additions to San Jacinto College Central, North and South Campuses. Funded by the college’s 2015 bond referendum of $450 million, the campuses also are receiving general site and infrastructure upgrades including increased WiFi accessibility and bringing building access points up to ADA code.

Newest addition to the Central Campus is the Center for Petrochemical Energy, and Technology. The $60 million, 151,000 square-foot instructional complex with a separate Process Training Unit opened for the fall 2019 semester with the official grand opening ceremony Sept. 18.

Built for and designed by industry, the facility features 35 custom interior labs, 20 interactive classrooms, and 3 computer labs. The building houses the air conditioning technology, electrical technology, electronics, engineering design graphics (drafting), environmental health and safety technology, instrumentation/analyzer technology, nondestructive testing, pipefitting/fabricator, process technology and welding programs.

“These new vocational facilities definitely provide realistic workplace experiences for our students,” Charles Smith, San Jacinto College associate vice chancellor of fiscal initiatives and capital projects, said. “This has been a strength of the college for some time. Now, students studying process technology can learn a variety of skilled trades in a real operating environment with our Glycol Distillation Unit and the myriad of specialized process labs that support that family of programs.”

The Central Campus is also gaining a 43,000-square-foot Welcome Center. The $16.6 million facility will serve as a “one-stop” student support services building for admissions, financial aid, tutoring, testing centers, education planning and counseling.

Construction at the San Jacinto College North Campus continues for its brand-new Cosmetology and Culinary Center. Scheduled to open in spring of 2020, the 57,000-square-foot, $22.3 million facility will provide the latest state-of-the-art facilities for students to get real-world, industry-standard training.

The culinary wing will consist of a bakery, kitchens with multiple food prep stations, ovens, stoves and walk-in refrigerators and freezers. The facility will also feature a bistro dining area available to the public with capabilities of hosting catered events with meals prepared by culinary students.

The cosmetology wing will feature a full-service salon and spa where students, faculty and the community can experience services such as massages, facials, haircuts, colors, manicures and pedicures.

The San Jacinto College South Campus will gain two new buildings, the largest being the new Engineering and Technology Center. The 74,000 square-foot, $27.7 million facility will feature new computer labs complete with industry-standard software, a MakerSpace will feature a 3D print shop, metal shop, and a woodshop to allow students to build their designs. The Engineering and Technology Center will house engineering technology, biomedical equipment repair technology, engineering design graphics, electronics, and computer information technology programs.

The South Campus is also adding a new 39,300 square-foot Cosmetology Center. The $15.8 million facility will feature student lounge areas, a full-service salon, and updated labs and classrooms to enhance the workforce training for those interested in a cosmetology career. The Engineering and Technology Center and the Cosmetology Center are scheduled to be open in fall 2020.

“The Board of Trustees and the chancellor take their commitment to stewardship of taxpayer dollars extremely seriously,” Smith added. “Only about half of the money raised by the bond is being spent on new construction. The remainder is being deployed to strategically improve the life or efficiency of existing buildings and infrastructure. During a time of relentless cost escalation, the college has done everything in our power to keep a tight rein on scope and schedule, while meeting community expectations.

“Whether through high school dual enrollment, participation in our academic programs, or our Continuing and Professional Development offerings, there simply is no better return on educational investment in the greater Houston area than what we offer at San Jac,” Smith said.

For more information on the San Jacinto College South Campus bond construction projects and bond construction updates college-wide, visit

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