College launches naming campaign
Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 17, 2007
On Thursday night, a number of local business, civic and educational leaders had the opportunity to take a PowerPoint “tour” of the latest addition to the facilities at the Greenville campus of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.
The occasion was the kickoff of a “major fundraising event,” the Greenville Campus Technology Building Naming Campaign.
Its mission: to gain the continued financial support of the community as the college strives to furnish its new state-of-the-art center.
“The future is bright here in Greenville. A big part of our mission here is workforce development, and we could not do that with our existing facility,” said LBWCC President Dr. Ed Meadows.
“We wanted to offer the community professional and technical training. We made plans for such a facility, and that became this new facility.”
Meadows took those present at the Cambrian Ridge Clubhouse through a slide show of the interior and exterior of the new $3.5 million, 22,000-square-foot technology center.
The two-story building will house Architectural and Mechanical Drafting, Business and Computer Science, Nursing Continuing Education, Focused Industry Training and University Transfer Studies.
The building will feature office suites along with a conference room and a kitchenette that can be used for special community activities as well as college events, Meadows said.
The technology center will also house the offices of the Butler County Economic Development Commission.
“The building is wired for state-of-the-art technology. We can now download and upload video satellite links and we'll have DVD projection capabilities.”
The president pointed out the center's new nursing lab and home health lab will give students “the opportunity to experience the type of training they would need in nursing home and assisted living facilities.”
The college is planning to expand its curriculum to include LPN-to-RN and EMT-to-RN programs, along with additional accounting, computer science and business courses and, eventually, a robotic welding program.
While the new technology center is very close to completion (expected completion date is May 2007), it lacks one important element.
“We need good-quality furnishings. Not lavish, but a good quality that can stand up to daily student use,” Meadows said.
The LBWCC Foundation is looking for donors who will take on sponsoring the needs of a classroom, lab, or office.
Plaques with the names of those donors (or the person being honored or memorialized) will be placed outside the rooms, Meadows said.
Amounts start at $4,000 to furnish an instructor's office. Lecture rooms run from $10,000-$15,000, with labs going at $25,000 to $50,000. There are also refurbishment needs in the existing building, Meadows said. Larger donations will earn even greater recognition.
“For $500,000, we will name the technology center after you; for just $150,000, we will name the existing building in your honor,” Meadows said with a smile.
The Circle of Honor features 55 bronze circles. Each can be named in a donor's honor for a $500 gift.
The fundraising campaign began March 1 and ends June 30, 2007.
Dr. Jean Thompson, who is slated to retire as director of the Greenville campus in September, said she is “thrilled” to see her dream - another building for the Greenville campus – come true.
“I was so happy to come here to a new building in 1993. I've wanted another building since 1995,” she said.
“We worked to make it happen, to increase our enrollment. I went out looking for students and you responded. You also sent your spouses, children and grandchildren to us. And I have taught most of them,” the English and literature instructor said with a smile.
While Thompson is retiring from her full-time directorship, she said she plans to continue working part-time “teaching, raising funds and getting scholarship monies for students.”
“I am so looking forward to enjoying this beautiful new building. And now the conference center is the icing on the cake!”
The campus's new conference center will feature hotel-type partitions allowing the space to be divided into three smaller rooms or one large space.
The center will also feature a kitchenette and in the very rear of the building, a multi-purpose technical shop is planned.
“The conference center will be a great asset to the community as well as the school,” Meadows said.
“This conference center's roofs and walls will go up. We are waiting on the outcome of an educational bond issue currently before the LegislatureŠwhen that bond issue passes, we will come back and complete its interior,” Meadows said.
The ever-rising costs of construction forced the school to mount its current fundraising campaign, the president said.
“We had to re-bid the job on the technology center several times,” Meadows said.
“We finally had to take the furnishings out of the equation to keep the costs down. Now we are reaching out to the city and county to help us out as they have so often in the past.”
Joree Jones, director of institutional advancement for the college, reminded those in attendance LBWCC “is truly a community college.”
“We have our ties to our four-year colleges and we love them. But community colleges are grassroots; we are home,” Jones said.
“We want you to know your gift to the college will make a difference in someone life in 10 years, 50 years.”
Along with named gift opportunities, scholarship endowments and anonymous gifts are also welcome and available, Jones said.
“Any and all donations are accepted and appreciated and will be acknowledged,” she added.
Dr. Jim Krudop, who will be serving as interim director of the Greenville campus in the wake of the untimely death of Dr. Mike Daniel, said the Camellia City is now “the place to be.”
“Look at all the growth that is going on in this areaŠthere are people here with a vision for the future. You can be a part of this growth at LBWCC. It will be a case of ‘we did it!'”
For more information on the LBWCC Foundation, contact Campaign Director Dr. Jean Thompson at 383-6702 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joree Jones at 881-2262 or by email at email@example.com.