GALVESTON

Much of Galveston College is confined to a four-block space between 39th and 41st streets, but school administrators are contemplating additional buildings on site.

College officials and architectural consultants are planning new student housing, as well as a parking garage and a performance arts building on the main campus, 4015 Ave. Q. The consultants also are planning a new instructional building at the college’s Applied Technology Center, 7626 Broadway, President Myles Shelton said.

Another change could come at a vacant space on 39th Street and Avenue R. As Galveston College moves forward with efforts to grow its nursing program to allow a four-year track, administrators are eyeing the space for a five-story nursing building.

“It’s a matter of growing the program, and it’s a matter of student demand,” Shelton said. “It’s also about having the right kind of space for these programs to train students for the workforce that’s needed today and for the future.”

The Texas Legislature this session gave the college the go-ahead to begin a four-year nursing program, and the school hopes to admit its first class in 2019, Shelton said. The building should accommodate that anticipated growth, Shelton said.

Consultant group EYP Architecture & Engineering is designing concepts for the building. The group is working with the space it has, said John Smith, lead designer at the firm.

“It’s a tight fit, but we’re kind of trying to manage it as we move forward,” Smith said.

The project that will turn around fastest is new student housing on the east corner of 39th Street and Avenue R, Shelton said. Student housing is already at the location, but the school will demolish those for the new building, he said.

“We need a longer-term sustainable solution for student housing, and that’s what this represents,” Shelton said.

The new apartments would be three stories and could house between 44 and 48 students, Shelton said. The school already has received a $2 million donation from the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation for the apartments, which are scheduled for a fall 2019 opening date, Shelton said.

“The question is how quick can we go through the development process?” Shelton said. “This is the one project that actually has the funding behind it.”

The nursing and applied technology buildings would also rely on donations, but that money hasn’t been secured yet, Shelton said.

According to preliminary plans, the nursing building would be five floors, with classrooms, lab spaces and technology to keep up with the advancing industry, Smith said.

The new applied technology building would have parking on the ground floor with instructional space above. An additional parking garage would be placed at Avenue Q 1/2 and 39th Street, according to the preliminary plans. The consultants haven’t yet planned the performance arts building, Smith said.

While plans are still being developed, the current ideas seem great for the school, Galveston College Board Regent Carl Kelly said. Only finding donations remains as an issue, he said.

“All it takes is money.”

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; samantha.ketterer@galvnews.com or on Twitter at @sam_kett

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