MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Delta Community College unveiling a new multi-million dollar facility Thursday afternoon.
“There’s not another facility like this that I know of,” said Dennis Epps, Chancellor at Louisiana Delta Community College.
The new addition to the Advanced Technology Center will add 22,192 square feet, totaling out at 48,231 square feet. The cost of the new addition is $8.2 million, of which $1 million is a local match.
"This facility would not be possible without the support of our Mayor, the I-20 board and the Ouachita Economic Development Corporation who provided the funds required to serve as the match for the state dollars," said Epps.
This project will allow an additional high bay lab area for manufacturing training, meeting rooms to accommodate large groups, and additional classrooms.
“New capabilities with robotics, industrial electronics, and state of the art training things that can help produce a world-class workforce,” said Epps.
This expansion was made possible funds that came from ACT 360 which was signed into law during the 2013 legislative session. This allowed for the sale of $251.6 million dollars in bonds to provide for 29 community and technical college facility projects throughout the state. A total match of $34.3 million dollars is required for projects to qualify for state funds.
The match had to be raised by local communities served by each college.
In accordance with the legislation, the Facilities Corporation is charged with the implementation of ACT 360 and is managing the construction of all projects specified in the legislation.
“We’re just excited to provide this type of investment here in Monroe,” said Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community & Technical College System.
A growing trend Sullivan has noticed for community colleges that has allowed LDCC to capitalize on this opportunity.
“As institutions align themselves in the market, and align themselves with the needs of the employers, you see those intuitions receiving that much more of an investment and you see an enrollment increase just like at Louisiana Delta where they saw a 20% jump. That’s unheard of, increased 20% from fall of last year because of those investments and the alignment to the job market.”
A plan that’ll benefit students and the Northeast area for years to come.
“If someone is looking to invest in our region, we take them from that great airport, we bring them right across the road where we were able to show them a community college performing at a very high level, and we’re able to bring them over here and show them a facility like this that you can’t help but impress.”
The expanded facility will also house the Louisiana Small Business Development office for the state.