What was once pasture land at the intersection of Wade Boulevard and Ohio Drive in Frisco has come a long way.
Collin College’s Preston Ridge Campus, located at 9700 Wade Blvd., is the district’s fastest-growing campus. Higher enrollment numbers have spurred great change to the lay of the land.
This semester, the new 19,000-square-foot conference center opened along with a new classroom building (J Building) and a parking garage to accommodate the tremendous growth at the Preston Ridge Campus. In addition, the existing Event Center was renovated into a 3,000-square-foot dance studio.
“The Preston Ridge Campus has seen an 85 percent growth in enrollment in the past five years,” said Dr. Brenda Kihl, vice president and provost of the Preston Ridge Campus.
The enrollment at the Preston Ridge Campus in the fall of 2006 was 4,840. That number jumped to 7,749 in the fall of 2009 and to 8,940 in the fall of 2011.
“More students are choosing Collin College because it offers quality education, affordable tuition and exceptional university transfer opportunities, a rare combination in higher education,” Dr. Kihl said. “In these tough economic times, families have to make choices. Choosing to start a four-year degree at Collin College makes great academic and economic sense.”
The prodigious growth in student population was foreseen by Collin College officials. In 2005, the college opened the campus’ marquee library and classroom building, totaling 103,000 square feet.
The college opened the D Building in spring 2007; it totals 74,000 square feet of classroom and office space to meet the initial increase of students at the Preston Ridge Campus. Along with the J Building, about 209,000 square feet of classroom, lab and office space has been added to the Preston Ridge Campus since 2005.
In fall 2009, the college opened the Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Education, located in a renovated Alumni Hall. The 9,200 square feet facility includes three teaching kitchens, a classroom and restaurant lab, a central dish room and offices.
According to Dr. Kihl, the exponential construction and renovation will accommodate the expected growth for several years.
Collin College serves about 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.
About the author: Marisela Cadena-Smith is the director of marketing and communications for Collin College.