Community backing spurs major SCLTC growth

Published 11:45 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE – Reserve’s South Central Louisiana Technical College campus, which has an economic impact of over $15,000,000 annually from graduates of the River Region, will grow by leaps and bounds in 2015.

Campus Dean Cindy Poskey said expansion and new construction plans for the campus include a new 20,000-square foot Center for Advance Technology building, a 9,000-square foot addition to the process technology building and a 3,400-square foot addition onto the medical wing for the school’s medical programs. 

Poskey said the planned changes will create a 50-percent increase to on-campus facilities, a change that is sorely needed to meet the demands associated with the large influx of students participating in the school’s academic programs over the last few years. The increases will also mean the campus will be able to offer more classes throughout the day.

“So if you say right now you have about 900 students on campus, you should be able to add about 450 more with that increase in facilities,” Poskey said.

The proposed changes are all thanks to Act 360, a bill approved during the 2013 legislative session to fund capital changes for the 29 colleges that make up the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. SCLTC in Reserve will receive nearly $8.5 million in bonds for enhancements. The funding requires the recipient college to produce a 12-percent match of cash donations. Poskey said SCL’s goal is $1.5 million, which is slightly higher than the 12-percent match.

At the most recent St. John Parish Council meeting, the council approved an ordinance granting approval to Parish President Natalie Robottom to donate $857,000 worth of land to the college. The donated land borders the campus’ current footprint at 181 Regala Park Road in Reserve.

St. John Councilman At Large for Division A Lucien Gauff III said the donation is an investment into the parish’s future by helping students receive an education, get jobs, buy homes and help to grow St. John Parish.

On Tuesday, Mara-thon donated $100,000 to assist with expansion expenses. Other donations have included $50,000 from ArcelorMittal, $500 from Associated Terminals and $50,000 from Valero. Poskey said DOW is scheduled to announce their donation next week. The deadline for a school to be included in the first round of bonds is June 30, and Poskey said the school will make that deadline. She said bond sales are slated for January, and a groundbreaking ceremony will happen early next year.

She anticipates construction will take up to two years to complete.