Construction on Montgomery County Community College's new Culinary Arts Institute is officially underway, following Friday's groundbreaking ceremony at the Towamencin Town Square complex off Towamencin Avenue.
The 15,000-square-foot facility will feature four state-of-the-art kitchens, three SMART classrooms, a patio for dining and grilling, and a coffee shop.
“The creation of the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College will position us as the region’s premiere education resource for future culinary and pastry arts professionals,” said Karen A. Stout, president of the college.
Chef Christopher Allen Tanner will serve as the director of the Culinary Arts Institute, and the new curriculum will emphasize hands-on, lab-based learning, with academic courses and cooperative internships serving to balance out the training process.
“With food being such a central part of our lives, it is incredibly appropriate that a community college provide programs for careers in the culinary arts,” said state Rep. Kate Harper. “Located near the turnpike in an emerging town center with potential area employer, this is the best of all possible worlds.”
Harper wasn't the only elected official in attendance. State Sen. Bob Mensch spoke at the ceremony, praising MCCC, developer Philadelphia Suburban Development Corporation and Towamencin Township officials for their efforts to make the new facility a reality through the public-private partnership.
Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro complimented MCCC for its ability to create a high-level curriculum, which is available at a fraction of the cost when compared to similar programs of other schools.
"Students can come here and get an unbelievable education in the culinary arts,” Shapiro said. “The college is a model of efficiency, creativity and thinking out of the box.”
Aspiring students will be able to pursue an associate in applied science degree in either professional culinary arts or professional baking and pastry arts, and the school will also offer a one-year certificate program.
For those not interested in pursuing a degree, the facility will also offer a variety of non-credit courses, including basic catering, cooking technology and professional bartending.
To learn more about The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College visit www.mc3.edu/culinary