Amarillo College makes bigger footprint in Hereford

A crowded room at the Hereford Community Center erupted with applause Wednesday afternoon when the President of Amarillo College and the Mayor of Hereford came together for a huge announcement.

"We have a gentleman, a benefactor, named Bill Hanshaw from Arizona who is gifting three million dollars to Amarillo College," said President of Amarillo College, Paul Matney. "We're going to combine that with some Amarillo College funding and open this brand new campus out in north-northwest Hereford."

Another gift making this five million dollar campus an achievable goal for AC was the ten acre plot of land purchased and donated by the Hereford Economic Development Corporation.

"It's a great time for Hereford and it's citizens but it's also a great time to show that the community and business work together, education can work together," said Mayor of Hereford, Bob Josserand. "It's a partnership between all of us."{>}

"We're going have a nice place for students to be able to relax and study and we're going to have a community room. It's just going to be a full campus here in Hereford for Amarillo College", added Matney.

That's going to be a gigantic upgrade for Amarillo College's presence in Hereford , since it has been operating out of an old elementary school building since 2005.

"We have wanted a campus," said Matney. "We really needed more space, we needed more classrooms, we needed laboratories, we needed Career and Technical Facilities."

More space they'll get, making the whole announcement a win-win, for AC and Hereford.

"That's always been my hope and dream that ultimately we'd have our own campus," admitted Mayor Josserand. "And now we do."

C onstruction for that new campus could begin as early as next summer.