LCC, Modern and Historical Perspectives Being Pursued

Old and new will mix at Lamar Community College this fall and next year.  LCC President John Marrin said plans are underway to conduct an almost year-long observance of the college’s 75th anniversary next year.  He outlined some of the plans for the Prowers County Commissioners this past Thursday, August 26.  Marrin said the college had 31 students enrolled on September 13, 1937, it’s first year in operation.  Eight were from outside the area and the rest were from Lamar.  A gala homecoming celebration has been planned for October 2012, including the attendance of any remaining alumni who will be honored.  In honor of the year, Marrin said arrangements are underway to have the Glenn Miller touring band perform as well, plus recognition of other national and local events that paralleled the development of LCC during the ensuing decades.

Another mixture of old and new at Lamar Community College will occur the weekend of September 30 and October 1st, as the college will host the bi-annual Frontier Encampment on the campus in conjunction with the National Parks Service for presenters.  Organized every two years by LCC instructor Kelley Emick, the encampment is a living model of what life was like on the High Plains, spanning the century between the 1800s and beyond.  The two-day event is free, although persons attending will be asked to sign a registration book, simply to provide a head count.  Marrin said 800 persons attended the event in 2009, with a lot of people coming from outside the area.  “That also generates an impact on stores, gas station and restaurants in our town,” he commented.  The public is able to interact with the historical presenters, asking questions about that their style of life was like, as a farmwife, rancher, civil war soldier, trapper or trader. 

President Marrin said architects have been reviewing the WPA historical preservation project on East Maple Street in Lamar and will present some preliminary drawings on the plans outline by the end of September.  Marrin said the college is considering three prime uses for the building in its completed form, as museum sites for the Mexican Colony in Lamar, historical information on the Dust Bowl era and for the college’s building trades program.  Other projects mentioned included an economic impact statement report on the dollar and cents value of the college to the area.  “I’ve seen some preliminary figures and I was amazed on the financial role LCC plays in the area communities,” Marrin stated.  Other future reports to the commissioners will include figures on how many high school students are taking advantage of the dual credit courses this year at LCC.  Marrin said he also wants to generate regional community input on what actions the college could take to benefit the area, through a series of evening meetings with other commissioners and civic leaders. 

Cheryl Sanchez, VP of Administration and Student Services, updated the commissioners on the progress being made on the $3 million energy audit at LCC.  The long-range program will feature an infrastructure improvement to the heat and air systems at the college, including energy-saving, motion detector lights, new ventilation and ductwork in the Trustees building, a new boiler for the Bowman Building and new décor and carpets for the student halls and dorms.  “Students have already commented to me on how much they enjoy the new surroundings, as well as improved heat and air,” she said.

By Russ Baldwin


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