An important fixture in workforce training in north Alabama will soon be getting bigger.
Phase 1 of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park (ARTP) will be getting a $2.3 million expansion this year.
State Senator Arthur Orr told WAAY 31 News that construction the 7,000 square-foot expansion is set to begin soon, depending on the weather.
He said it will create room for seven new machines for training.
Phase 1 of the ARTP was completed in 2010. Most recently, an 18-wheeler crashed into the side of the Phase 3 building, forcing classes with the FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) program to temporarily move.
That building was reopened about a month later in June.
Ed Castile, the executive director of Alabama Industrial Development and Training, said the new expansion would be built where the existing back parking lot is now.
He told WAAY 31 News that the new equipment is being added "with a goal of reducing the trainee waiting list in a couple of robot brands."
Castile added that Fanuc is the brand most commonly used by many Alabama companies and so their machines will make up the majority of the new ones coming in.
Orr said construction is set to be complete by early summer around late May or early June.