By Kendra Wilkerson
Pulse Staff Reporter
In 2015, students will be able to grab a caffeine fix between classes at a cyber café in the Ozuna Building and have their hair styled in San Jacinto Hall.
Jessica Ann, a sophomore Criminal Justice major, said, “We will soon have a place to hang and get some coffee.”
The café will not, however, house a rumored Starbucks.
According to a email from John Strybos, assistant vice chancellor of Facilities, “PAC Ozuna Phase 2 renovation will be awarded Dec. 16, 2014, with construction starting in January and completed approximately August. It will include a cyber café.”
Strybos also explained that renovations for the college’s new Cosmetology program housed in San Jacinto Hall are scheduled to be complete in January 2015. Since the start of the renovations in August, approximately four to 20 skilled trade workers have been spending 8 hours a day renovating the building.
On Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, at 11 a.m. and Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, at 3 p.m., Dr. Michael Flores, president of Palo Alto College, is hosting a tour for those interested in seeing the renovated space.
Alamo Colleges contracted Crownhill Builders to complete the interior renovations of the San Jacinto Hall for a total of $695,975. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, which oversees the operation of all cosmetology schools in Texas, requires that the Alamo Colleges complete these renovations before they can be issued a license.
Sharon Carson, director of Workforce Programs Development and Performance, explained that once renovations are complete and approved by TDLR, she will provide information about the cosmetology program’s curriculum. Carson did not give a timeframe for the program’s start date.
When enrollment begins, the PAC Cosmetology program will be the only public option in Bexar County. This one-of-a-kind program will provide a seamless transfer to a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program at a university, and it reduces tuition costs for students, saving them an average of $10,500 per program when compared to local proprietary institutions.
Dr. Beatriz Joseph, vice president of College Services, said, “After researching the occupational needs of the South Side community, Palo Alto chose to offer a Cosmetology program.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hair stylists earn a median wage of $10.95 an hour or $22,700 per year. From 2012 to 2022, a 13 percent growth is expected in this field.
Joseph explained that many buildings were considered to house the Cosmetology program, but because of the special chemicals used for beauty services, San Jacinto already had the required exhausts to accommodate them.
Joseph said, “Because we have all of our Chemistry labs housed here and also because it is located near a parking lot, San Jacinto is the best location for the Cosmetology program.”
Because of this decision, the English Department faculty had to move out of San Jacinto Hall and into buildings throughout campus, like the Performing Arts Center and Medina Hall.
According to minutes from an Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees meeting held on May 13, 2014, The Trustees approved the recommendation of the chancellor to proceed with a Cosmetology program. Palo Alto College will submit a new workforce program of studies for a Cosmetology Associate of Applied Science Degree with Level Two Certificate and Advanced Technical in Esthetician Specialty.
PAC currently offers 10 vocational tech programs. These programs include Administrative Computer Technology, Agriculture, Aviation, Business Management, Computer Information Systems Computer Science, Landscape & Horticultural Science, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Oil & Gas Technology, Turfgrass & Golfcourse Management and Veterinary Technology. For more information on these programs, go to the Palo Alto College website.