June 06, 2017
Richmond Campus Upgrades floor plan

Contact: Zina L. Carter


Richmond Campus Upgrades floor plan

WHARTON, TEXAS – A large-scale construction project at Wharton County Junior College’s Richmond campus will provide better opportunities for Cosmetology and Process Technology students. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 3 p.m. Friday, June 30.

The project will renovate existing space as well as create an additional wing at the Richmond facility. Rosenberg-based Bass Construction Co. will oversee the project, which carries an estimated price tag of more than $1.75 million, not including equipment and furnishings. Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 18, with a ribbon cutting celebration announced later this fall.

The renovation portion of the project will include the upgrading of roughly 9,000 square feet formerly utilized by Texas State Technical College. TSTC relocated last year to a new facility off of U.S. 59 in Rosenberg. WCJC will utilize the space for the Cosmetology and Process Technology programs.

“Wharton County Junior College is committed to offering relevant programs that will allow students to achieve personal goals as well as obtain the skills needed for gainful employment,” said WCJC President Betty McCrohan. “We feel that the project at the Richmond campus will allow us to provide more opportunities for these students while providing the educational and training opportunities necessary to meet community needs.”

In addition to the renovation, a new 3,600 square foot wing will also be constructed as part of the overall design. Plans are to dedicate that space to the Cosmetology program. The additional space will provide new work stations and allow the college to accommodate an estimated 40 students for the coming fall semester.

The project will also benefit the Process Technology program by adding a computer lab, an open lab, additional classroom space, a turbine generator, and distillation and neutralization skids. 

“Both Cosmetology and Process Technology are popular programs that offer students a variety of career options,” McCrohan said. “Wharton County Junior College is dedicated to providing our students with the educational opportunities they need to be successful.”

WCJC’s Cosmetology program is a one-year certificate program that teaches technical skills as well as Texas Cosmetology Commission rules and regulations. The program consists of 11 months for full-time students and 18 months for part-time students. Upon successful completion of program requirements, graduates receive their certificate and are eligible to apply to take the state board examination to become licensed cosmetologists. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the 2016 mean annual wages for hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists in Texas as $26,910, though upper end positions can pay as much as $45,000.

WCJC’s Process Technology program in a two-year degree program that prepares students to work as process operators in petrochemical plants, refining companies and other industries. Students who earn an AAS degree in Process Technology are eligible to earn an Enhanced Skills Certificate in Nuclear Power Technology by completing 14 additional semester hours of specified coursework. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the 2016 mean annual wages for chemical plant and system operators in Texas as $66,910.