College embarks on expansion plan


SCHRIEVER, La. (AP) — The open field behind Fletcher Technical Community College's Schriever campus could be filled with buildings in the coming years, school officials said.

Fletcher plans to build a $5.1 million student services center using state money authorized by the Legislature in 2013 and also with private donations. The state funding is contingent upon a 20 percent private match. Fletcher will receive $4.5 million for the student services center.

Fletcher spokeswoman Jessica Thornton told The Courier ( that the Terrebonne Parish college hasn't found a private match yet, but will begin fundraising this fall. Construction is expected to begin in 2016.

Thornton said the center would serve as a "one-stop shop" for students. It would include advising offices, study labs, a bookstore, testing and other student-related services.

"You name it, it will be there for the students," Thornton said.

A covered walkway will connect the building to the main campus.

"It's all about student retention. We want to make sure when they come in the door, they're taken care of and we don't lose them out the back door," said interim Chancellor Earl Meador.

Former Chancellor Travis Lavigne was a driving force behind the college's new 100,000-square-foot, $21 million campus on Louisiana Highway 311. It opened in 2012.

In March, the campus grew again with the addition of the $8 million BP Integrated Production Technologies Center, built using a $4 million contribution from the oil company.

Fletcher is in the process of installing a skid — a steel frame used to handle oilfield equipment — inside the center.

Talks of putting two more buildings next to the petroleum center are dependent on private funding being secured, Thornton said.

Discussions are underway about building two more buildings for petroleum studies, she said. Other possibilities include a building devoted to nursing.

"Every building from here on out is going to require some sort of private match. It's getting more and more difficult to get state funding," Thornton said.


Information from: The Courier,

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