College Breaks Ground on Future Campus in Eastern Wake County
RALEIGH, N.C. (December 9, 2021) – The Wake Tech torch will soon be shining brightly in eastern Wake County. The college broke ground on a new educational and training facility today in Wendell – a 106-acre site along the I-87/US 64 corridor. The site, just down the road from East Wake High School, is poised to become the college’s seventh campus.
Eastern Wake 4.0, as the new site is called, is a reference to a fourth industrial revolution that includes the Internet of Things and the networking of machines and technology such as 5G, big data, cloud computing and smart manufacturing. The first building on the new training site is projected to open for classes in the fall of 2023.
“The impact of this truly cutting-edge campus cannot be overstated,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “It will have a profound effect on the growing communities in the eastern part of Wake County, reaching students who seek to improve their lives with new opportunities for growth, career advancement, and economic mobility.”
Phase 1 of development will include:
- Central energy plant and infrastructure – Sustainability is a major focus for site development. The central energy plant will house chillers and boilers for heating and cooling campus wide. Energy savings and efficiencies will be incorporated using advanced solar technology and geothermal wells. The central energy plant will include an apprenticeship training center to support nearby companies such as Siemens.
- Public Safety Simulation Complex – A reality-based simulation center for Basic Law Enforcement Training, including a driver training track and a 4D immersive training village. This facility will become the new home of Wake Tech’s EMS program and a new program in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
- General Education and Student Services building – Academic building with classrooms and science labs, a library, an auditorium, and student services spaces such as admissions and financial aid. It will be the home of Wake Tech’s Associate in Engineering program.
- Technology 4.0 facility – Networked integrated teaching labs to support biopharmaceutical technology, intelligent automation, robotics, smart manufacturing, microelectronics and UAS operations and repair. This facility will include co-location space for university partners and maker space for student collaboration.
Eastern Wake 4.0’s proximity to East Wake High School and nearby Knightdale High School is expected to open up more convenient dual enrollment opportunities with Wake County Public Schools – and bring technology-focused education and training closer to residents of eastern Wake County.
Eastern Wake 4.0 will also enhance transfer opportunities for Wake Tech graduates through co-location space for university partners. Partnerships will offer new seamless transfer options for East Carolina University’s Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (BSIT) program and Elizabeth City State University’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Emergency Management programs. It will also be a new hub for Wake Tech’s Associate in Engineering program, with spaces planned to further the college’s collaboration with its largest and closest transfer partner, NC State.
Phase 1 development is supported by the $349 million bond overwhelmingly approved by Wake County voters in 2018. Construction partners developing each project include:
- Central energy plant and infrastructure
- Design-Builder – Skanksa USA / HH Architecture / Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers / Salas O’Brien / SEPI / Surface 678
- Public Safety Simulation Complex
- Designer – Boomerang Design / Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers / McKim & Creed / CLH Design
- Construction Manager – Balfour Beatty
- General Education and Student Services Building
- Designer – BSA Life Structures / Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers / McKim & Creed / SEPI
- Construction Manager – Monteith
- Technology 4.0
- Designer – EYP, Inc. / Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers / RMF Engineering / McAdams
- Construction Manager – TBD
The next phase of development will include a fire training center with a simulated burn tower, smoke rooms and pond for water rescue training, and an innovation pavilion. Future academic buildings will include STEM education, business and IT training, and facilities for short-term non-degree programs.
Wake Tech is North Carolina’s largest community college, serving about 70,000 students each year. Wake Tech currently has six campuses and three training centers across Wake County.