South Louisiana Community College’s new $9.2 million campus in St. Martinville will welcome its first students this fall.
The 36,000-square-foot facility off La. 31 at the edge of town replaces a 1960s-era campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive that now serves about 100 students.
Enrollment is expected to rise, and the new building was designed to allow for easy additions to meet future demand.
“Everything is designed for flexibility,” said project architect Jeff Augustine, of Architects Southwest, who led a tour of the new campus on Thursday.
The need for growing room is what led SLCC to abandon an earlier plan to build the new campus on property next to the old one.
The new campus also consolidates offices and classrooms that have been spread out through several buildings.
“Now, everything is under one roof,” said SLCC spokeswoman Christine Payton.
The St. Martinville campus offers programs in business, general studies, patient care, practical nursing and welding.
In addition to traditional classroom instruction, students will be able to take advantage of new virtual classrooms to attend courses taught on other SLCC campuses.
“It lets you study close to where you live and work,” Payton said.
SLCC’s new St. Martinville campus was funded through a $174 million bond package the Legislature approved in 2007 for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
The bond program also funded $5.3 million in renovations for SLCC’s Abbeville campus in 2012.
SLCC, which has campuses across Acadiana, is preparing for a major expansion at its Lafayette campus, where a $17.1 million, three-story health sciences center is taking shape on Bertrand Drive to accommodate growth in nursing and other health career programs.
Payton said the new health sciences building is scheduled to open next year.