Richland Campus President Kay Eggleston said the construction of Red River Hall is part of Dallas College’s larger focus on transforming lives and communities through higher education.
“Only 1 in 4 young adults in Dallas County earn a living wage,” she said. “We’re hoping to be able to elevate our community's prosperity through education.”
Eggleston said this new building will include 41 classrooms and three computer labs. Additionally, the hall will house an Early College High School Education Partners Center for dual-credit high school students from Richardson ISD. It will also feature a 4,000-square-foot conference space, a coffee shop and a cafeteria.
Red River Hall’s main purpose is to give more space for dual=credit high school classes and students seeking to receive their associate degrees at the same time they receive their high school diplomas, according to Eggleston. Dual college students make up 30% of Dallas College’s entire enrollment, and they are a big factor in helping grow the nearby community. Eggleston said Dallas College as a whole has 88 partnerships with neighboring school districts along with relationships with 45 charter schools and 41 private schools in Dallas County.
“We believe we can transform the fabric of our communities through giving these young people an advanced opportunity to fast track their education,” she said. “We do not want them in a classroom of only high school students, we want them to have a full collegiate experience.”
In addition, the construction of Red River Hall will allow the Richland Campus to expand its college of business, according to Eggleston. This includes additions to its accounting program and a state-of-the-art Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab.
Eggleston said the use of Red River Hall will help replace the need for temporary modular buildings that have been on campus for years.
“The intent is eventually to remove the modulars, but we will have to do it in a way to ensure that we have sufficient capacity for growth,” she said. “Portables and modules are a tremendous advantage during times of expansion, but we don’t expect to deliver instruction long term in temporary facilities.”
Red River Hall is expected to cost the college $33 million, according to campus officials. Construction of the hall began April 1, and its official opening is expected to take place in June 2023.
The building was funded primarily through a $1.1 billion bond program that Dallas County residents approved in 2019.
“Our city is continuing to grow and change,” Eggleston said. “Richardson and [the] Lake Highlands area [are] changing as well. It's critical that we be able to provide opportunities to advance our educational attainment and support this community.”