Jun 18, 2013 4:06 PM

New state law may allow SLCC to add medical building

LAFAYETTE ­- A new building to house SLCC's recently approved Registered Nursing program and the Early College Academy is officially in the works.

Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 204 into law this week. Known as the "Facilities with a Purpose" bill, the statewide initiative will improve Louisiana's Community and Technical College facilities, providing increased training capacity and opportunities for students, business and industry in both rural and urban areas across the state.

The 83,400 square-foot building will be known as the Health and Sciences Building and will be located on the college's Lafayette campus. SLCC's already-established programs in allied health including Clinical Laboratory Technician, Medical Assistant, Nurse Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Practical Nursing, and Surgical Technology will also benefit from the new facilities and state-of-the-art equipment.

"As a community college, we are continuously evaluating our programs to meet the needs of industry with graduates that are well-prepared. There's a substantial need for registered nurses and workers in the allied health industries," said Dr. Natalie Harder, SLCC chancellor. "This new facility will allow us to meet the needs of the healthcare industry and prepare Acadiana's citizens for well-paying jobs in our region."

The bill, sponsored by Robert Adley of Benton, La., authorizes financing and construction of 29 projects throughout the state in the amount of $251.6 million. Twelve percent, or $34.3 million, will be provided from local private matching funds. The initiative will provide 25 workforce projects, 3 one-stop student testing, career and service centers, and one safety-related project.

"This legislation will modernize facilities and provide the training necessary for our graduates to gain access not only good jobs, but some of the best jobs in the state. It will also enable us to maintain the course - one of unprecedented enrollment growth, record numbers of graduates, and 21st Century program development aligned with business and industry, said Dr. Joe May, Louisiana Community and Technical College System president.

Gov. Bobby Jindal noted the state's support in 2008 for similar funding. "We have always been committed to investing in higher education, and we supported a move to utilize this funding source in 2008. These schools are a critical pipeline for workforce needs, and we are proud to fund them however we can."

The college is currently raising money for the required state match to fund the building's construction. The total estimated cost of the new Health and Sciences building is $17 million.



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