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By AP  /  
2014 July 22 - 09:55 am

Airport Will Help Pay For La. College Building

State Funding for Student Success Building Depends on Local Match

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Chennault International Airport officials plan to work with the city of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish to pay for part of the $8 million cost for Sowela Technical Community College’s Student Success Building.

The airport’s board of commissioners has authorized Chennault’s executive director Randy Robb to provide to $50,000 for the building and begin discussions with city and parish officials for an intergovernmental agreement.

“This building will enhance student enrollment and improve the student throughput,” Robb said.

The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) that the Legislature in 2013 allocated $251 million for 29 new facilities throughout the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

Of that group, two are planned for Sowela.

Along with the Student Success Building on the school’s main campus, a $10 million building will be funded at Sowela’s campus in Jennings.

“The caveat to this legislation is that the local community has to raise 12 percent of the total cost of these buildings,” said Chancellor Neil Aspinwall.

About $981,000 must be raised for the Student Success Building before the state will provide $7.2 million.

“The last two semesters we’ve grown over 20 percent in enrollment,” Aspinwall said. “Growth is great for us. But if we can’t manage that growth and provide the services the students need to stay in school, then they will drop out.”

Aspinwall said the building will allow Sowela to consolidate all student services into one building and add a culinary institute.

Commissioner Charles Dalgleish said supporting the school’s growth is important for economic development in Southwest Louisiana.

Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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