Forsyth Tech to Hold Grand Opening for New Transportation Technology Center

State-of-the-Art Facility Hailed as Most Advanced in Southeast

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (January 9, 2012) – Forsyth Technical Community College announced that it will hold the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art Transportation Technology Center on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 11 am at 4255 North Patterson Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC. On hand for the celebration will be Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and NASCAR legend Richard Childress.

The 139,000 sq. ft. facility is the only one of its kind in the southeast and will house the college’s Richard Childress Race Car Technology, Automotive Systems, Heavy Equipment and Transport, Recreational Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, Collision Repair and Refinishing, Motorcycle Maintenance and Programs.

“We are extremely proud of our new Transportation Technology Center and the advanced training and educational opportunities it offers our transportation students,” said Dr. Gary Green, president, Forsyth Tech. “We have been good stewards of the bond money we received to design this outstanding and exciting facility—it incorporates best practices and even creates new standards for transportation program instruction.”

The center represents a stunning transformation of the former Pinebrook Shopping Center. Approximately 128,000 sq, ft. of the original shopping center space, which consisted of five separate retail spaces, has been renovated; 11,000 sq. ft. of additional space was created to meet the height requirements for the new large truck repair area.

“This project was a great opportunity to re-use and bring new life to an existing building,” said David Moore, AIA, CJMW Architecture’s Design Principal in charge of the project. “Forsyth Tech’s Transportation program is a great asset to the community and we wanted the building to support that in a fun and engaging way.”

“The original shopping center was made of up smaller pieces and parts that had been individual retail spaces. Keeping existing walls where possible allowed us to design economically so the design challenge was to put the puzzle pieces together in a way that functioned well and brought the building together as a whole,” said Moore.

Key Aspects of the Transportation Technology Center

Interesting aspects of the new center include:

  • Auto repair shops are arranged along a vehicular spine that travels through much of the building. Rather than featuring a standard garage-type arrangement with multiple bays and exterior doors, cars can be driven right into the building and can access workshops from the interior. High bay truck repair space has independent circulation access as does the race care performance shop.
  • The classroom module is sandwiched in the center of the building, isolated from program areas by interior spaces that buffer sounds from the shops, minimizing noise interference.
  • At the classroom module, a glass curtain wall encloses the original shopping center’s covered walkway, creating an interior “exterior” wall space that provides active, lit space that gives life to the building even at night, since many of the classes and work occurs during the evening hours.
  • Faculty offices overlook work areas with glass walls allowing instructors to see directly into workspaces at all times.
  • Super graphics used throughout the center bring classic iconography into the building to enliven the spaces as well as provide way finding to/identification of the different areas.
  • Other interior and exterior elements relate to the automotive and race track industries, such as painted exposed steel and fencing in exterior spaces, race flag floor patterns, red race track carpet surrounding the classroom module, suspended clouds and exposed blue sky ceiling elements, long perforated steel bench and railing designs in the student lounge, and rubber flooring.

Free Public Tours Available of the New Center

On Tuesday, January 17, from 3 – 7 pm, free public tours of the new Transportation Technology Center will be available, guided by Forsyth Tech staff and representatives from CJMW Architecture.

WSTA Offers New, Expanded Bus Route Service to Transportation Technology Center

Effective Monday, January 9, 2012, the Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) is offering new, expanded service to Forsyth Tech’s Transportation Technology Center to accommodate students who will travel to the center using mass transit:

  • On Route 7, service will be offered from 6:45 am – 6:30 pm.
  • Students will be able to board or get off the buses on Patterson Avenue and/or on Germanton Road.
  • Peak-hour service (a bus every 30 minutes) will be available from 6:45 am until 9:45 am, at which time only one bus will provide hourly service.
  • Peak-hour service will begin again from 3:30 pm until 6:30 pm.
  • Students taking night classes will be able to utilized WSTA’s night service to/from the facility on Route 11 from 6:30 pm until midnight.
  • For more information about the Route 7 and Route 11 schedules, students can go to www.wstransit.com and click on “What’s New.”

CJMW Architecture is a 106-year-old full-service architectural, engineering, and interior design firm headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC with offices in Lynchburg, VA, and Lexington, SC. Ranked one of the top 50 Design Firms in the Southeast by ENR Magazine, the firm practices within a broad range of markets, specializing in design for senior living, cultural, corporate, healthcare and educational clients. www.cjmw.com