News Search

PDC opens doors to Airmen

WHITEMAN AFB, MO -- After nearly two years of anticipation, key education and base leaders got together Feb. 2 to celebrate the opening of the Professional Development Center, a $12.66 million construction that six education agencies will soon call home.

The ribbon cutting ceremony dedicated this new 76,000 square foot building, which will house the Airmen Leadership School, base testing, the career assistance advisor, First Term Airmen Center, education center and base library.

The new PDC allows the customer to go to one place for these six separate agencies that all have the mission of developing Airmen, said Senior Master Sgt. Warren Weakley, the Whiteman Career Assistance Advisor.

"We needed this new facility to continue to prepare students for the global challenges of the 21st century," said Cathy Brogan, education services officer.

The education center is scheduled to begin moving into the new PDC March 26 and should be ready to serve customers by April 15 with no interruptions to student services, Ms. Brogan said.

The new PDC will help on-base schools enhance their programs at Whiteman by offering larger classrooms with audio visual aids and computer labs, which will allow for increased enrollment and innovative teaching, Ms. Brogan said.

Webster University predicts that enrollment will go up due to an increase of resources the new PDC offers, such as new modern, state-of-the-art classrooms, resource facilities and a computer lab.

Park University also forecasts an increased enrollment in its classes due to the four additional classroom and larger rooms the PDC will provide.

State Fair Community College will have larger classrooms, a 16-station computer lab, fully equipped biology-enhancing courses leading to medical programs, and a chemistry lab to enhance science programs.

The library is expecting a one-week closure and hopes to be serving the community in the new building by the third week of March, said Murica Fowler, library technician.

About 55,000 customers per year from the Whiteman community take advantage of the base library's 25,000 books, audio books, CDs, videos, DVD/VHS, newspapers and magazines.

In the PDC, the library will have new amenities, such as a meeting room for classroom instruction and study groups.

The library will have a 30 percent increase in the amount of computers, and will be equipped with wireless technology.

"By being in such close proximity to the education center, I feel we at the library will be able to better serve those taking college classes," Ms. Fowler said.

The new PDC also allows the test examiner to have an office in the same facility as the testing room.

This is significant because 2,800 members test annually on tests such as the Armed Forces Classification Test, Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, Defense Language Test, Defense Language Reading Proficiency Test and promotion testing.

FTAC and CAA are scheduled to be moved no later than March 15 and expect a two-week break in operations to facilitate the move, Sergeant Weakley said.

CAA and FTAC are getting two additional classrooms, a joint 28-station computer lab, a stadium seating auditorium and a student lounge, Sergeant Weakley said.

Thanks to the new facility, FTAC will be able to participate in reveille and retreat ceremonies conducted by ALS, Sergeant Weakley said.

ALS has not slated a date to move in to the new facility but expects a smooth transition and will not be closed due to the move, said Tech. Sgt. Theresa Dulaney, ALS instructor.
Another change ALS can expect from the opening of the new facility is that students will no longer reside in-house during their five-week course.

"With several of these agencies outgrowing their facilities and the Air Force changing to where the member must take care of 80 percent of personnel functions online, the new PDC is a much needed asset in today's Air Force," Sergeant Weakley said.