Panola College opens new Matthews Foundation Energy Building

Matthews Foundation Energy Building

Panola College officially opened its new Matthews Foundation Energy Building on May 22, 2024, with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. Beginning this fall, students in the School of Energy will be the first to experience the new state-of-the-art facility and all that it has to offer.

“It is very exciting that the new Matthews Foundation Energy Building is now open, and we would like to express our appreciation to the Board of Trustees for approving this project,” said Dr. Greg Powell, Panola College president. “This will help us provide opportunities for people to acquire skills that will lead to high paying jobs in our area.”

Construction of the facility officially began in January 2023. The Board of Trustees voted the following month to name the building the Matthews Foundation Energy Building in honor of the Charles C. Matthews Foundation’s ongoing support and 1 million-dollar donation toward construction of the building.

Approximately 30,000 square feet with an additional 25,000 square feet of outdoor workspace, the building features six dedicated labs on the north wing and two on the west wing, with a classroom attached to each lab. Additionally, each lab features a garage-style door that leads into a covered concrete working space and large gravel yard.

The Enterprise Products North Wing will feature labs for instrumentation, commercial wiring, electric and motor control, HVAC, hydraulics, and a flexible lab that contains an immersive projection room. The west wing will feature labs for welding and natural gas compression and engine technology.

The facility also features an immersive interactive technology lab. The lab, which is supported by a grant through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, will virtually bring industry sites into the classroom, giving students a more effective and versatile learning experience.

“We would like to thank the Charles C. Matthews Foundation for its generous support, as well as Enterprise Products, Corgan, and Jacobe Brothers Construction,” continued Powell. “We are grateful that so many are here today to celebrate this incredible achievement in the history of Panola College.”

The ribbon was cut by Powell, who was surrounded by the Board of Trustees, the Charles C. Matthews Foundation, representatives from the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, faculty and staff members, and individuals from the community.