J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College
J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College is a combination community college and technical trade college in Huntsville, Alabama. As of the Fall 2013 semester, Drake State has an enrollment of 1,384 students.
|Affiliation||Alabama Community College System|
|President||Dr. Patricia Sims|
|Campus||Urban, 32 acres (.13 km²)|
|Colors||Blue and White|
The college was founded in 1961 as the Huntsville State Vocational Technical College. The campus opened September 1962 with one building built on 32 acres deeded by Alabama A&M University. Enrollment at opening consisted of 27 students in three programs: brick masonry, cosmetology, and auto mechanics.
In 1966, the school was renamed J. F. Drake State Technical Trade School in honor of Joseph Fanning Drake, a long-serving president of Alabama A&M University. The school desegregated in 1967, becoming the first desegregated postsecondary technical school in the country. The school was awarded technical college status in 1973 and took the name J.F. Drake State Technical College. In 2013, the college was again renamed after long-awaited state approval. The college is now officially known as J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College. This change was petitioned for when the institution attained community college status after earning membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in July 2012. J.F. Drake State is currently the only higher education institution in the state of Alabama to receive this naming convention. This allows the college to operate as both a traditional two-year community college, while retaining its renowned technical trade programs. The school colors are royal blue and white and the mascot is the Blue Eagle. Dr. Patricia Sims is the college president, being only the fourth permanent president to serve the college.
Drake currently offers programs of study in four divisions:
- Business and Engineering Technologies
- General and Developmental Education
- Health Sciences Technology
- Applied Services Technology
The main campus of J.F. Drake State consists of the following:
- Building 100 (Completed ca. 1981): Building 100 acts as the permanent home of the college's various nursing programs.
- Building 200 (Completed ca. 1981, Renovated 2009): Building 200 is home to the Electrical Engineering, Industrial Systems, and Machine Tool Technology Programs. It also houses the Office of Career Coaching as well as a Veteran's Services office and veteran student lounge.
- Building 300 (Completed ca. 1964): Building 300 is home to the Culinary Arts Program, The Cafetorium (a multipurpose event facility), and the Blue Eagle Cafe. Building 300 is significant due to its striking mid-century modern architecture. The building has been well-maintained over the years and is one of the most distinctive structures on campus.
- Building 400 (Completed ca. 1964): Building 400 is home to the Welding and Automotive Service Technology Programs as well as the Facilities Operations Office.
- Building 500 (Completed ca. 1964): Building 500 is home to the Accounting, Computer Information Systems, and Medical Assisting Technology Programs as well as the Business Office, I.T. Services Department, and the Human Resources Office. The building is known for its expansive corridor that runs the complete length of the structure North to South. Students often use the building as a convenient thoroughfare to traverse the campus.
- Powers Center / Building 600 (Completed ca. 1961, Renovated 2011): The "Original Drake Campus" houses the Cosmetology Program, the Student Center, and the Campus Security Office. The cosmetology portion of the building (known as Powers Center) is named in honor of Norma L. Powers. Powers was a pioneer in the development of the current Salon Management and Barbering Technology programs at J.F. Drake State. Powers Center is a cutting edge cosmetology, barbering, and salon management training facility which encompasses approximately 80% of the building.
- Building 700 (Completed ca. 1968): Building 700 houses General Studies as well as the Admissions Office, Career Services Office, Testing Center, TRIO Program Office, and the Counseling Services Office.
- Building 800 (Completed ca. 1968): Building 800 is home to the Adult Education, Engineering Graphics, and Heating and Air Conditioning Technology Programs.
- S.C. O'Neal Library and Technology Center (Completed ca. 2006): The LTC is the forwardmost building on campus and it acts as the pillar of the campus. The LTC houses general studies classrooms, two computer labs, and a two story library center. The third floor houses executive functions as well as the Office of the President and the Office of the Dean.
- Renewable Energy Laboratory (Completed ca. 2012): This lab acts as a training lab for the installation of geothermal heating and cooling units. It is completely off-grid and houses a 60-gallon solar thermal water heater and 12 solar panels. It also has a charging station for electric vehicles, with electricity provided completely via solar power.
All of the original core buildings of the campus remain to this day and consist mostly of mid-century modern single level architecture. Many buildings have been heavily renovated to meet current technology needs, but some still contain their completely original fittings and layouts. This creates a unique blend of modern cutting-edge technology, while offering a rare glimpse back to Huntsville's engineering/space race boom of the 1960s. The campus is beautifully landscaped and has been awarded Huntsville's Beautification Award on several occasions.
- "J F Drake State Technical College". College Navigator. National Center for Education Statistics. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011.