SCC academic center gets new look

Staff Report

September 26, 2013

DOBSON — Surry Community College turned its eyes from its Quality Education Development plans to its Academic Support Center and decided a face lift and some reorganization was in order.

Students are now greeted by the colors of misty gray, parakeet green and cayenne red as they visit the newly renovated center on the Dobson campus

“We saw the opportunity in the Academic Support Center project to do something very unique while providing a fun, inviting atmosphere for our students. New funky color schemes are very popular in four-year universities right now, but I have not seen anything like this in any other community college,” said Randy Rogers, SCC facilities director, who led the in-house project.

The final touches were put in place by the SCC maintenance staff Tuesday as the artwork started adorning the walls in the revitalized area, which is located on the second floor of the library or the R building. Rogers estimates the project cost at $140,000 with $90,000 spent on materials and much of the work being done in-house.

“The look of what we have here is like what you’d see in major universities,” Rogers said. “We didn’t notice this until after we had begun and we noticed some of the pictures from universities looked like the same room. It all fell together in a good sequence. We had good local folks helping and we were glad to help the community by using local businesses.”

College President Dr. David Shockley said once the future demands on the support center were understood, planners knew the dark carpeting and lighting and the way the area was organized was not going to work.

“It was under utilized space,” said Shockley. “I told Randy (Rogers) don’t be afraid to do something different. We were able to do this on a shoe string budget but I like the creativity shown here. We did this with available resources.”

“It looks pretty sweet,” said SCC student Ricardo Sanabria, who was studying in the area even while pictures were being placed on the walls.

Dr. Jami Woods, vice president of curriculum, hopes students will be inspired to study and be tutored in the new setting.

“The Academic Support Center has always welcomed students who need tutoring or would just like to find an alternative place to study on campus,” Woods said. “However, this face lift has created a more inviting decorum for our students where they can be motivated and encouraged. ”

The area has taken on a whole new atmosphere with the changes. The newly framed artwork coordinates with the color scheme of the room, decorating the freshly painted walls. Some of the pieces display motivational words, while others feature contemporary paintings.

“We renovated the rooms with a combination of new carpet and marmoleum flooring, a fresh coat of paint using the funky paint colors, new furniture and artwork that complemented the color scheme. The furnishings are a little different than typically seen in these types of settings with the use of bistro tables and chairs along with sofas and ottoman tables,” Rogers said. “We have also enlarged and enhanced the Academic Support Center and added a writing lab with 10 computers, which will provide a great and unique learning environment for Surry Community College students.”

The lighting has been retrofitted to low-wattage T-8 fluorescent, which is more energy efficient, going from 160 watts per fixture to 114 watts. Motion detectors have also been installed to reduce energy usage. New LED lighting replaced old fixtures in the two first floor entrance foyers to the R building. The two stairwells got new LED lights, and the brick walls were painted misty gray to brighten the areas leading up to the Academic Support Center. A glass block wall was installed to separate the study area and Academic Support Center.

The renovations will spread downstairs to the library where the first floor walls will get a new coat of paint and new flooring will be installed. This update will take place when classes are not in session during fall and winter breaks.

“The energy-efficiency aspects of this project can be used to provide another learning opportunity for Surry Community College students while providing energy savings in our operating budget,” Rogers said.

The Academic Support Center is available for students who need one-time tutoring, multiple sessions or sessions throughout the year.

“It’s inviting. I think this is so student friendly. We are looking to serve more students. They don’t have to wait until they fall behind on an assignment or in a class to get help,” said Kayla Collins, Academic Support Center director. “The Academic Support Center exists to help them understand and apply course content. We are committed to helping students take command of learning by thinking through course material. Whether they need just a few sessions to catch-up or if they would like assistance all semester, we are here to help as little or as much as they need.”

The center offers free tutoring for SCC students in a variety of subjects and disciplines including: writing, English, reading, mathematics, biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, computer classes, psychology, sociology, and others.

To schedule tutoring sessions, contact the center’s main number at (336) 386-3460 or contact the tutors individually: Jesse Cockerham, English and Spanish, (336) 386-3449 or; Donald Fowler, math and science, (336) 386-3405 or; or Kayla Collins, director (336) 386-3526 or

The Academic Support Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Onsite tutoring is also offered at The Elkin Center, The Yadkin Center, and The Pilot Center by appointment. Online tutoring is also available for distance education students.