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|Bond sale frees Delta to begin work|
Bonds to fund construction of the new Louisiana Delta Community College sold shortly after they went on sale late last week.
Delta's chancellor Dr. Luke Robins said the sale was another milestone toward establishing a permanent home for the Delta Community College.
Now that bonds were sold, Robins said the design team of Breck-Ratcliff and Architecture Plus can finalize plans and prepare to break ground soon.
"We're delighted that the bond sale went so smoothly, and this sale marks another milestone in the history of our college," Robins said. "We're thankful for the continued support of our legislative delegation and the citizens of northeast Louisiana as we continue on this journey."
A pre-closing on the bond sale was set for Thursday, Nov. 20, with the official closing set for the following day, Nov. 21.
Once ground is broken, construction on the main campus building should begin immediately, Robins said. Plans for a second building dedicated to workforce training are still being finalized.
Delta officials hope the new campus can be completed by the fall 2010 semester.
The new campus will be housed on 68 acres off Millhaven Road on the north side of Interstate 20.
To provide better access to the proposed new campus, Ouachita Council of Governments recently included a project to widen Millhaven Road to five lanes in its long-range transportation improvement plan.
Local officials say once the new campus is completed, the current two-lane road will not be adequate for the amount of traffic expected to utilize Millhaven Road.
Eventually, there will be access to the new campus from Interstate 20.
The first proposed site for the new Delta campus was the old State Farm facility on U.S. 165, which now is home to Accent Marketing's call center.
However, last year, Louisiana Community and Technical College System officials said the State Farm property was not large enough to accommodate future growth of Delta.
State Farm donated the facility to the Ouachita Economic Development Corp. when it closed its offices in 2005. In 2006, the state bought the property for $3 million with intentions to demolish the facility and build the new facilities for Delta. The state originally said it would build a $30-million, 130,000-square-foot community college on the 25 acres of the former State Farm property.
Delta was first established in 2001 where it was located at the Louisiana Technical College campus at the West Ouachita Industrial Park. It later moved to the University of Louisiana-Monroe's campus, where it operates today. Delta says it has 1,200 students. However, the college has not revealed how many of those students are full-time or part-time. Some officials who are familiar with Delta's operations have said the full-time enrollment at the community college is around 500 students.