College could let bids in December

Published 12:04 am Saturday, November 17, 2012



A nearly $3 million on-campus student housing project is in the works at LBWCC, thanks to the LBWCC Foundation.

Foundation President Jennifer Curry told Lions this week that they hope to have final approval of a low interest USDA loan by Dec. 1, and hope to open bids on the project by mid-December.

“We plan to advertise for local contracts,” Curry said. “We want to be local if we can.”

Plans are to build the housing complex on an acre of the three-acre parcel of land adjacent to the community college.

Procurement will be through open, competitive bidding, taking into account contractor experience and resources, for best value and least risk to the Foundation, Curry said.

The project will house 96 students in 24, four-bedroom apartment units. Units will be self-sufficient, with fully equipped kitchens and laundry. They will also be furnished with standard furniture.

The proposed development will be owned by the Foundation, and will have no impact on the credit or balance sheet of LBW or the Alabama Community College system.

Curry said the project developer is committed to the project for the next year, and looks to begin the project in mid-January and the goal is to be complete by August.

“The fall semester has the largest enrollment,” Curry said.

And with the growing number of students at LBWCC, there is significant need for housing.

“LBWCC has a current need to house 80-plus students, including athletes, who travel significant distances to attend LBW,” she said. “LBW wants to expand recruiting efforts beyond Covin-gton and surrounding counties.”

Curry said that community college housing is a growing trend across the United States, and that with soaring tuition costs, community colleges represent a more cost effective way to begin a college career.

Rental cost will be $1,800 per student, per semester, including utilities. The costs is comparable to or less than similar facilities around the state of Alabama, Curry said.