COM Conference Center Set to Open Oct. 22
All College of the Mainland employees and students are invited to the grand opening of the COM Conference Center on Monday, Oct. 22. Community members from throughout Galveston County also are being invited to the grand opening and to tour facility improvements on campus.
Construction crews began work on several maintenance projects on campus this spring, including the Physical Education building where the old indoor swimming pool is being converted into a multi-purpose conference center. The conference center, when completed in early October, will be able to accommodate more than 500 guests.
The center is one of several much-needed projects on campus approved by the Board of Trustees and being paid through a $16.2 million maintenance tax note. The main room of the conference center will have two partitions allowing for the configuration of three smaller rooms.
The center will be open for community members to use.
The Olympic-sized swimming pool on campus, which was in disrepair, was closed years ago. In April the crews used more than 700 cubic yards of flowable fill – a liquid soil comprised of cement, water, fine aggregate and fly ash – to fill in the 11-foot-deep pool. The conference center will sit on what was the pool.
The gym and locker rooms also are being refurbished, including the removal of the bleachers.
Another major project being tackled are the underground heating and cooling pipes.
“Our pipes are 50 years old and corroding out,” COM President Dr. Warren Nichols said. “We’ve been digging them up and patching them up.” Our Board of Trustees said, “let’s correct it once and for all.’ So were are replacing all the underground pipes.”
Over the summer, crews also gutted and rebuilt the chemistry lab in the Math and Science Building. The $1 million renovation is expected to be complete by the time fall semester classes start on Aug. 27.
The brick exterior of the Student Center has been removed, creating a “see through” the building. The two-story building’s exterior is being replaced with metal stud walls, insulation and then brick. An outside terrace overlooking the lake plus a canopy as well as sunlight screens to shade the area and existing glass wall will add to the building.
The renovated Student Center should be completed by December.