LBWCC breaks ground on new technology center

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 17, 2006

A host of county officials and dignitaries welcomed the dawning of a new era at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College's Greenville campus on Tuesday morning.

The college held a special groundbreaking ceremony for its new $3.5 million technology center, scheduled to open in September 2007.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon, one of the speakers at the event, said he remembered when some graduates saw the military as an only option just out of high school in Butler County.

&#8220But that's no longer the case,” he said. &#8220If you want a job in Butler County you can find a job in Butler County. We're proud to be a part of LBW, where our students can get a quality education right out of high school, find a job and stay in this community if that is their choice.”

LBWCC President Dr. Ed Meadows said students who are often educated well in their communities usually stay or return to their hometowns. The addition of the college's new technology center will ensure students are adequately able to pursue a post-secondary education and also provide an ample workforce for Butler and the surrounding counties' automotive suppliers.

Rep. Charles Newton, attending the ceremony along with Sen. Wendell Mitchell, said the new technology center would have a significant impact on people's lives.

&#8220Lives are going to be changed for the positive,” said Newton.

The technology center will house a variety of curriculums, including: Adult and ESL Education, Architectural and Mechanical Drafting, Business and Computer Science, Continuing Education, including Kids College and Music Performance, Focused Industry Training, a Registered Nursing Program, University Transfer Studies, Robotic Welding, as well as student support services and career planning counseling.

Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney said he's a &#8220big believer” in collaborative education, which he referred to as the &#8220bridge building process” between high school and college.

&#8220We look forward to filling these buildings with future students,” he said.

Greenville High School Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy said GHS juniors and seniors are constantly encouraged to take advantage of the school's dual-enrollment classes, allowing many students to complete a year of college education prior to graduating from high school.

After the ceremony inside the main building, local and state officials were led outside to symbolically shovel some dirt where the new center will be built.