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South Piedmont Community College Archives: SPCC Historical Milestones

Welcome to the SPCC Archives LibGuide! Here you will find tons of school and community history dating from the 1960s to present day!

ACC Milestones

  • The institution that would eventually be known as Anson Community College opened in 1962, as the Ansonville Industrial Education Center with the financial backing of the Gen. William A. Smith Trust.
  • In 1967, the institution became Anson Technical Institute (ATI) and joined the N.C. Department of Community Colleges.

  • In 1971, the school became a separately chartered institution.

  • The Linn D. Garibaldi Building in Polkton opened in 1977, marking the college’s first move away from Ansonville. Land for what became the L.L. Polk Campus was donated by Trustee W. Cliff Martin.

  • In 1979, trustees changed the institution’s name to Anson Technical College.

  • The Martin Learning Resources Center on the Polk Campus opened in 1982.

  • In 1987, the college’s name changed to Anson Community College.

  • The Watson Building, named for former Trustee J.B. Watson, Jr., opened on the Polk Campus.

  • In the late 1980s, Community Services Division relocated to downtown Wadesboro with assistance from the Effie Allen Little Foundation.

  • In 1991, administrative offices moved from Ansonville to Polkton.

  • Two new facilities were added in 1998: the W. Cliff Martin Technology Complex and the Whitaker Applied Technologies Center, a gift from the Anson Community College Foundation.

  • Also in 1998, the college acquired the West Knitting Mills Plant No. 1 in Wadesboro. The renovated facility opened in 2002 as the Lockhart-Taylor Center.

  • On May 19, 1999, Gov. Jim Hunt signed a bill that abolished Anson Community College and created South Piedmont Community College to serve Anson and Union counties.

UTEC Milestones

  • Beginning in the early 1970s, Anson, Central Piedmont, and Stanly Community Colleges offered technical education in Union County.
  • In 1981, Union Technical Education Consortium was formed between Anson and Stanly community colleges to provide service in Union County.
  • UTEC expanded dramatically in 1987 when space was leased in the old Belk Building in downtown Monroe.

  • In 1989, Union County Commissioners acquired 37 acres on N.C. 200 South in Monroe as a future campus location.

  • A new 13,600 square foot facility opened at Brewer Drive in 1994.

  • In 1996, at the request of Union County Commissioners, the N.C. Community College System launched a study to make recommendations for the delivery of technical education in Union County.

  • As a result of the study, legislation was passed in 1999 to create a new, regional institution that became South Piedmont Community College.

SPCC Milestones

  • South Piedmont’s Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro is the first adaptive reuse in North Carolina of an abandoned textile mill to create an educational facility.

  • In 2003, Dr. John R. McKay became the second president of South Piedmont.

  • SPCC launched the second New Century Scholars program in North Carolina to make a two-year SPCC education available tuition-free to deserving seventh graders who will be mentored throughout their middle and high school careers. Up to 10 New Century Scholars are chosen at each of the middle schools in the college’s service area each year.

  • Anson County Early College High School began in 2005 with approximately 50 students, and graduated its first class in 2009 with three students receiving high school diplomas and associate degrees and seven students receiving high school diplomas.

  • In 2005, SPCC launched its journey as a Learning College, implementing a new, coordinated, college-wide initiative to ensure that it placed student learning first. 

  • Union Early College High School began in 2006 with approximately 60 students.

  • South Piedmont kicked off its Domestic and International Travel Program in Fall 2007. SPCC’s travel program offers students the opportunity to travel while learning about art, culture, history, government and a variety of other topics.

  • In 2007, the Braswell Ambassadors program began through an endowment established by the James R. and Bronnie L. Braswell Trust that provides funds for scholarships, leadership training and other items to outstanding students at the college. The student-leaders volunteer in various capacities at college events and assist with student recruiting.  This is still an active program as of 2018. 

  • In August 2007, South Piedmont was ranked the 14th best community college in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine. Please click the link here: SPCC 14th in Nation. 

  • The Anson Women’s Center, a joint initiative of New Ventures Business Development Inc. and South Piedmont held a grand opening celebration at the Lockhart-Taylor Center on October 1, 2009. The Anson Women’s Center will serve as a regional resource and advocacy facility for individuals and families.

  • New Ventures Business Development, Inc. and South Piedmont Community College had an open house for the new Anson Community Kitchen on March 11, 2010. The new commercial kitchen is available to the public for rent. The 900-square-foot kitchen is adjacent to the Ingram Community Room but it is not just for those who use that facility at the Lockhart-Taylor Center. The kitchen is also available for caterers who need a place to prepare food to transport elsewhere and to farmers or gardeners who raise a sufficient amount of any product that can be converted in a commodity item for sale, such as breads, jellies, cobblers, etc.The kitchen includes a 10-burner range with two conventional ovens, a 30-gallon tilt skillet/braising pan, two full-size convection ovens and much more.

  • The grand opening of the new Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center located across the street from the Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport and next to the Monroe Corporate Center was held on September 14, 2009.The approximately 4,000-square-foot center offers training in mechatronics, industrial maintenance, robotics, programmable logic controllers and avionics. The centerpiece of the facility, which was supported by a Golden LEAF grant, is the Flexible Manufacturing System that will allow students to gain handsā€on experience troubleshooting a live manufacturing line using skills learned in the program.  This system is one of three in North Carolina and the only one of its kind in the region. 

  • The Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center has since then been relocated to a new building. In 2012, $3.5 million was received from Union County for purchase of the Bealer Building at 3509 Old Charlotte Highway, Monroe. This facility was ultimately renamed the Tyson Center for Technology. 

  • Dr. John McKay, second president of SPCC retires on June 30, 2011.

  • Dr. Stanley M. Sidor becomes the third president of SPCC on July 1, 2011.

  • In 2012, SPCC added a disc golf course on the Old Charlotte Highway Campus. The course is named "Dry Creek Disc Golf Course", and is utilized daily by students and community members. The Polkton Campus has its own disc golf course; more details can be found by clicking on the following link:

  • In 2012, SPCC received a perfect reaccreditation report from the SACS onsite team.

  • Faculty Senate was formed in 2012, to give a consolidated voice to faculty at the college.

  • In November 2016, the Union County Bond was passed, which awarded SPCC 4.2 million dollars. The funds will be utilized for the construction of the STEM building on the OCH Campus, a Union West Campus, and other renovations. 

  • Dr. Maria Pharr becomes the fourth president of SPCC on January 1st, 2017. 

  • Ground breaking for the "STEM" Building took place on Friday, November 16th 2018 on the Old Charlotte HWY Campus at 3:30 pm. 

  • On February 5th 2019 Tyson Renovations began. 

  • On Aug 31, 2021, Dr. Pharr cut the ribbon to open the new "Main Building" at the Old Charlotte Highway Campus.

  • In the Summer of 2023, Building A on OCH campus shut down for renovations and smaller scale renovations began in Braswell. 

  • 2022-2032 Capital Improvement Plan officially announced. The CIP assesses the entire community’s needs and considers the investments needed to promote academic success, as well as campus health and safety. The plan includes OCH campus expansions, LLP campus renovations, and renovations to the Lockhart-Taylor Center.