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LRCC auto program to grow from 7,100 sq-ft space to 21,000

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Lakes Region Community College serves the Greater Laconia area with high quality, affordable academic programs that prepare students for careers and for transfer to continue their post-secondary education. We greatly appreciate the strong local support and interest in the college. We are excited about LRCC's future, working in partnership with local public officials, local schools and area businesses.

Recently, LRCC hosted an event to update regional elected officials on developments at the college. We would like to correct some inaccuracies in an article published March 11 following this event. Much of the article outlined future plans for the college facilities, including new construction and renovation. The correct information is:

LRCC will break ground this spring on a new 21,000-square-foot facility to house the college's automotive programs, which include a program affiliated with General Motors and a general associate degree program. The new, larger facility will also enable the college to increase its in-service training for local automotive technicians.

The 7,100-square-foot space that will be vacated once the auto programs move is earmarked for future use by the culinary program, although LRCC will first undertake design work ahead of any request for funds to do the renovations necessary to re-purpose this space. In the meantime the program will continue to operate at its present home at Canterbury Shaker Village, where LRCC operates classes and a restaurant.

The CCSNH Board of Trustees has approved a capital request that would, if funded, enable the construction of a facility at LRCC for mobile diesel and marine engine technology. The $5 million request will be part of all State of New Hampshire capital project requests considered in the 2015 legislative session. The decision to seek funding to relocate the program to LRCC was generated by input from employers in the heavy-equipment industry that the program could better meet industry need if located more centrally. This information was shared at the event by LRCC President Scott Kalicki, and not board Chairman Paul Holloway who was not in attendance.

LRCC's newest facility, the Health and Science Building, houses the nursing and fire science/fire protection programs as well as chemistry, physics and biology labs that are part of LRCC's commitment to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Construction of this facility enabled LRCC to use space in its adjacent Center for Arts and Technology to house a new advanced manufacturing program, which was developed in partnership with more than 20 area employers to strengthen the workforce pipeline for advanced manufacturing companies in the region as part of a statewide initiative to strengthen and increase advanced manufacturing training opportunities and pathways to careers.

Thank you for the opportunity to correct the article and add needed context to some of the information presented. Lakes Region Community College is committed to serving the needs of its region and to partnering with high schools, area industry and four-year colleges and universities to support student success and a strong New Hampshire economy, and we deeply value to connections we enjoy with the communities we serve.

Shannon Reid

Director of Communications

Community College System of NH