By Kim Barto Meeks

Patrick Henry Community College is entering the second stage of renovations to its advanced manufacturing facilities in the Patriot Centre, the PHCC board learned Monday.

Jack Hanbury, the college’s vice president for finance and administration, said he is in the final stages of fee negotiations with a vendor for architectural and engineering services to what PHCC is calling the “MET II” project.

MET, which stands for Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology complex, refers to two former Arrington Manufacturing buildings in the industrial park that PHCC bought in 2013. The back building has already been “completely renovated” into a high-tech educational space for advanced manufacturing, precision instruments, mechatronics, and motorsports. It also includes two “flex spaces, where a manufacturer can drop a piece of equipment and use the space to train employees,” Hanbury said.

The second stage of the project will focus on the front building visible from Kings Mountain Road. This will more than double the welding program’s capacity, from 16 to 35 stations, Hanbury said.

A request for proposals netted applications from six firms, and RRMM architects out of Roanoke was selected. After the price is finalized, Hanbury said design work could begin in early October, with construction completed by summer 2021.

MET will host an open house for employers, community leaders, and the public to learn more about the “talent development pipeline” and available industry certifications at PHCC, said Rhonda Hodges, PHCC’s vice president for workforce, economic, and community development. It will be held 1-3:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.

Patrick Henry Community College’s Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology (MET) complex in the Patriot Centre industrial park. Renovations on the first building have been completed, and a second building on the former Arrington Manufacturing property is set to be renovated soon.