Construction of the new South Louisiana Community College campus in St. Martinville is off to a slow start due to the rainy weather this summer.
The $9.2 million campus planned off of La. 31 will replace the existing building on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Crews are working on a temporary drive for the site and preparing the site for foundation work, hauling dirt and digging a retention pond for the building pad, said Christine Payton, the college’s communications and marketing director.
The college broke ground on the 36,000-square-foot project in November.
Payton said work at the site was slowed by summer rains and construction is planned to be complete by June.
The construction project is part of a nearly $174 million package of Louisiana Community and Technical College System projects authorized by the Legislature in 2007. As part of that bond package, SLCC’s Gulf Area campus in Abbeville received $5.3 million in renovations that were completed in 2012. The St. Martinville project was set to begin in early 2013, though reconsideration of the plans to build across from the existing campus played a role in pushing back the project.
The existing campus, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, was landlocked and the parish School Board offered adjacent property for the construction of the new campus.
After a review of potential expansion options, SLCC Chancellor Natalie Harder opted to seek alternative sites that allowed room to expand the campus in the community.
As part of that process, she appealed to the community for a land donation.
A donation of property in Breaux Bridge was passed over for the St. Martinville property — 9 acres donated by the Levert family — to keep the campus in the city.
As part of the property agreement, St. Martinville Mayor Thomas Nelson committed the city to cover the costs to set up the utilities infrastructure at the site, which is near the intersection of Moore Avenue and La. 31. Payton said the college is working with the city to set up water and electrical lines to the site.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.