John Marrin, Lamar Community College President, standing a few yards from where the school’s newest dormitory will be constructed this spring and summer, welcomed dozens of guests to the February 16th groundbreaking ceremonies. “This will be a large building that will house 30 to 32 students and this will be the future of this college,” Marrin explained. He added, “If we want LCC to continue to be a destination college, the only way for us to do that is to have a place for them to live.”
The LCC Foundation has dedicated its mission for quite some time, to securing donations and funds to finance the construction of the new facility, expected to be open for students by the end of July and the start of the fall semester at the college. A dozen representatives from the college, the LCC Foundation, city and county and Camp and Currell were handed shovels for a traditional moment, turning over the dirt at the work site which will see excavation underway as of Wednesday, February 17th with an anticipated completion date of July 31st.
Marrin added, “LCC started it’s partnership with the region when the college began in 1937 and we’ve had that kind of same type of collaboration to begin this project. The city, the county, our Foundation, our advisory councils, students, faculty, staff and citizens of the area all worked on this. We are so close to being fully funded, we can use the revenues on this dorm to start the next one.” The college has three dorms planned for future construction, one following another as finances allow.
Marrin said the infrastructure for all three dorms will be incorporated into the construction work for the first dorm, making it easier to add on and expand into the future. “As soon as we get that done and we’re fully paid off, we’ll start on that next dorm as well.” Each dorm will be built to accommodate about 32 students in eight apartments using shared bathroom facilities. Camp and Currell Construction of Lamar was awarded the bid as general contractor.
Marrin said earlier that the new dorm fees will be priced a bit higher than the regular dorms on campus and the units will be awarded on a first come, first served basis for male or female students. The dorm apartments will be either all male or female throughout the new facility.
Chris Wilkinson, from the LCC Foundation, said, “This new facility will help sustain growth at the college and help sustain us financially in the future.” He added he and the Foundation were grateful for the generosity displayed by individuals, businesses, families, corporations, and other groups, especially in these challenging economic times.” Wilkinson said using local contracting firms will also contribute to the area economy. He offered special thanks to Foundation Executive Director, Anne-Marie Crampton, “I would be remiss if I did not recognize one who contributed much. The driving force, enthusiasm, determination, and cheerleader who has led, pushed, pulled and inspired us all in this fundraising activity.”
The College and Foundation have raised $1,108,595 for the residence hall project. Contributors donated $491,235 to the project so far, with $141,405 remaining in its quest to raise a total of $1,250,000 for the project.
By Russ Baldwin
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