LCC Reviewing Architect Designs for East Maple Street WPA Restoration Project

WPA Building on East Maple Street

Student enrollment is sluggish for the spring semester according to Lamar Community College President, John Marrin.  However, the welding program is at full capacity at the college and enrollment from area high schools for dual credit courses is growing.  Marrin provided an update for the Prowers County Commissioners this past Thursday, December 15.  “Lamar High School has 119 students enrolled in dual credit at the college,” he explained, “and there are 58 from Holly and 89 from Granada at this time.”  Dual credit courses at LCC allow high school students to gain academic credit for college courses taken during their senior year in high school. 

Looking to 2012 activities, Marrin said the annual economic impact statement will be issued by Lamar Community College next month.  The statement is an indicator of how the college’s finances, through payroll and other activities, impact the local area.  The Welfare Housing project on East Maple Street in Lamar is making headway.  Marrin displayed architect designs for the commissioners, showing how the buildings at the WPA site will be preserved and function for the college.  The complex, set on several acres south of East Maple Street, was constructed during the Depression by workers employed by the WPA, Works Progress Administration.  The college plans call for three of the buildings to be converted into apartment housing or dorms for students, specifically those enrolled in the LCC Building Trades and Historical Preservation program.  The fourth building can be converted into a workshop or office space for students and the mid-section; the former men’s and women’s bathhouses can be converted into a multi-purpose museum and historical display area. 

Marrin said the project is funded for $500,000 with $368,000 from State Historical Funding and the balance from a Title 3 grant.  He expects some of the construction work to begin next spring.  Marrin said the college’s annual Conversation Day, open dialogue with community leaders and college personnel and students will be held January 27 at the Wellness Center.  This year’s theme is “Pathways”. 

In other action, the commissioners approved various action items including 2012 ambulance and licenses and permits for Lamar, Holly and MedTrans Ambulance.  The approved a $17,000 Emergency Management Program Grant between the state and the county and approved a letter sent to Senators Bennett and Udall and Representative Gardner regarding funding for a supplemental grant for TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

By Russ Baldwin



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