Students will soon be learning in a unique new facility in Yadkin County. The G. Allen Mebane IV Industrial Training Center is the newest building on the Yadkin campus of Surry Community College in Yadkinville.
Community leaders gathered on Monday for a dedication ceremony of the new building, which will house vocational programs such as welding, machining, electrical systems, mechatronics and truck driver training.
Marion Venable, executive director of the Surry Community College Foundation, welcomed guests to the ceremony and shared some of the history of the fundraising campaign for the college that culminated with construction of the training center. She said the initial $2 million amount was raised to $4.2 million, an amount she called “unheard of” for a rural community college to raise.
“That would empower the college to build the facility that we celebrate today and to expand our Dobson campus,” Venable said.
She said Tom Caudle and Tim Dockery agreed to co-chair the capital campaign. She called the process “energizing.”
“Individuals, public entities and corporations along with grants from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Canon Foundation, the Duke Energy Foundation, the Mebane Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Commission enabled us to fast forward three years to this dedication today,” Venable said.
“We felt we had tremendous support from the foundations across our state,” she said. “We thank you for joining us for this transformation moment for the people of Yadkin County.”
Unifi President and Yadkin County native Tom Caudle spoke briefly as well at the dedication ceremony.
“It was something that was desperately needed in Yadkin County,” Caudle said.
He called the facility the first of its kind and said it would allow Yadkin County residents to better themselves for the future.
Caudle said Mebane, founder of Unifi, for whom the building is named, would be pleased with the result. A monument in front of the new building features a statement that Mebane was well known for saying, “All people learn on a different timeline. But if you create the right tool, everyone can learn at their own pace, and after a period of time, end up at the same destination.”
“The G. Allen Mebane Industrial Training Center is the right tool for companies like Unifi in Yadkinville and for the next generation of workers in Yadkin County,” Caudle said.
SCC President David Shockley expressed his gratitude as well for those who helped make the building possible. He also thanked the county commissioners for their support of the Yadkin Center campus as well as their commitment to local students with the Yadkin Guarantee program, which will offer scholarship funds for Yadkin students who choose to attend Surry Community College.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed refreshments and tours of the new building.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.