Plans for $62.4 million building move forward

An artist rendering of the planned Student Success Center that is estimated to be finished in late 2023. Courtesy of Perkins & Will
By HARRIET RAMOS

@HarrietRamosETC

Plans are underway for Eastfield’s new Student Success Center and Academic Building. According to the Dallas College bond webpage, the building is in the design stage.

The building is part of the $1.1 billion bond package that was approved by Dallas County voters in May 2019. 

Scott Wright, the Dallas College deputy chief facilities officer, said there is not a date set yet for the construction to begin.

“The start of the actual construction will depend on several variables,” Wright said in an email. “As such, we would not be able to provide a reliable start date.”

Wright did not say what the variables are and did not respond to further request for comment.

The building is expected to be finished in late 2023, but Eastfield President Eddie Tealer said in a January meeting with employees that date is an estimate and subject to change.

He said the original plan was for two buildings, but it was decided to join them into one for economic and sustainability purposes.

“I want you to know that we’ve gotten a lot of input, not only from senior leadership, but also from faculty, staff and our students,” Tealer said. “So we feel like this is going to be a very great project that we bring in order to ensure student success.”

A total of $62.4 million has been budgeted for the Student Success Center, according to the bond website. It will be three stories high and have an estimated space of 116,000 square feet. 

Tealer said the architects planned it to match with the village image look that was used for the other buildings when they were built in the 1970s. 

The building was designed with sustainability in mind, and any trees removed during the construction process will be replaced, Tealer said.

“We will continue to maintain our designation as a Tree Campus USA and we will continue to support our sustainability efforts,” he said.

Tree Campus USA is a designation for college campuses that promotes environmental stewardship. Eastfield was originally recognized as a Tree Campus in 2015, according to previous reporting by The Et Cetera.

The back entryway of the Student Success Center will face the back of the C Building, which Tealer said may have to be demolished due to the high cost of trying to renovate it. The C Building is one of the oldest buildings on campus.

“In the meantime we will be transitioning from the C Building to the new building,” Tealer said. “We will be bringing you a further update later on when we’ll actually demolish the C Building or what other plans might be developed.”

Construction at Eastfield and other Dallas College campuses was held up due to a lawsuit brought against the bond election by Kirk Launius, a former Eastfield criminal justice student and poll watcher for the bond election. Launius claimed there was voter discrepancy during the election and submitted an 18-page petition calling for a revote, according to previous reporting by The Et Cetera. 

Dallas County Judge Charles Stokes rejected the lawsuit in December 2020.

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