The new Tulsa Community College Riverside Community Campus and Aviation Center is designed to fuel the growth of Tulsa’s aeronautical industry. Tulsa Community College and the Jenks community celebrated the grand opening of the new facility at the Richard L. Jones, Jr. Airport.
The facility houses the Aviation Sciences academic programs including Professional Pilot, Air Traffic Control, Aviation Management, and Aviation Logistics as well as concurrent enrollment and university-transfer general education classes.
“We are proud to broaden our commitment to aviation sciences education to keep pace with industry standards,” TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson said. “TCC has been supportive and responsive of Tulsa’s aerospace and aviation industry community for the past 45 years.”
TCC purchased the building in 2012 and began renovations in 2015. The 55,000-square-foot facility is home to TCC’s $1.4 million air traffic control classroom; a simulation lab that includes a full-motion flight training simulator and two other aviation simulators; and a fleet of six technically-advanced aircraft for students in the professional pilot program.
In addition, the facility has advanced, high-tech instructional space for aviation and general education college courses. Students will be able to take a number of general education classes and this fall more than 100 Jenks High School students will be concurrently enrolled in college classes.
“School leaders covet partnerships such as the one Jenks enjoys with TCC because the work we are doing together enables us to answer the academic needs of students, as well as the employment requirements of today’s workforce,” Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Stacey Butterfield said. “I am thrilled TCC is making this investment for our young people.”
In recent years, TCC has averaged nearly 40 graduates a year in the Aviation Sciences academic programs. The expansion of the academic program and addition of general education and concurrent courses provides an opportunity to meet the needs of the workforce industry and to prepare Tulsa area students for employment in various aviation related career fields.
“The Oklahoma aerospace industry generates $27 billion in industrial output or 7.5% of the state’s total economy,” NORDAM CEO Meredith Siegfried Madden said. “The state has more than 500 companies and roughly 150,000 jobs in the industry with an average salary of $64,000. The Tulsa area has this wonderful facility and this is where it starts.”
GH2 Architects handled the design work and Flintco handled the construction of the TCC Riverside Community Campus and Aviation Center. The facility used several unique design elements in converting the existing airplane hangar to a modern TCC campus and aviation program headquarters. The project uses the latest fire suppression system technology that quickly dispenses foam to suppress a fire in minutes; LED lights throughout the facility; and a sustainable, energy efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.
PHOTO: Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Stacey Butterfield, NORDAM CEO Meredith Siegfried Madden, and TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson