Kaskaskia College Holds Appreciation Luncheon at Trenton Education Center

Kaskaskia College held an Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, March 24 for the architects, engineers, contractors, and sub-contractors who worked on the renovation and expansion of the Trenton Education Center.  The Center re-opened for classes on March 17.


“What started as a vision has turned into reality,” KC President Dr. Jim Underwood said.  “I want to share from my heart how pleased and grateful we are to those responsible for creating this great facility, to include the City of Trenton, architects, contractors, Board of Trustees, and the organizations and individuals supporting the campaign.”


Dr. Underwood explained how, in 1999, the College embarked on a pilot project to see if students and communities would respond to having KC educational facilities in communities around the district.  The response was so overwhelmingly positive that the College eventually replaced the small facilities that could only accommodate a small number of students with larger, state-of-the-art Educational Centers to meet the growing educational demand.


It is to this end that the College decided upon the recent expansion of the Trenton Education Center and the building of a new facility for the Nashville Education Center as part of KC’s five capital projects campaign.  The other projects include a new Nursing building on the main campus, a proposed new Agriculture building, and renovation and expansion of the Crisp Technology center in Centralia.


When KC acquired the former Animal Disease Lab from the state of Illinois and decided to convert it into the KC Agriculture Education building, it freed up some investment capital for the other projects.  For Trenton, this meant the ability to create the original master plan for the new Center, which included a fourth classroom as part of its large central space.  Monday’s event took place in that room.


Certificates of appreciation were presented to the architects, engineers, contactors and sub-contractors who worked to complete the project, as well as Arlene Covington, Director of the Trenton Center, Herb Schlarmann, who allowed his former office to be used as the temporary office for the Center during construction, Ted Rose, project superintendent with Morrisey Construction, and Mike Conley of the Trenton Sun, who is the chairman of the Trenton Steering Committee. 


Several students spoke of their appreciation for the new Center.  These included Haley Broaddus of Damiansville, Morgan Lowe of Breese, Melissa Christensen of Trenton, and Tyler Porter of Breese.  Each of them expressed that the larger space, increased offerings, and convenient location of the new Center made achieving their educational goals now possible.


Suzanne Christ, who is managing the campaign for fundraising for the Trenton Center, spoke of naming rights that are available for classrooms and labs in the new space, and urged the group to consider making a donation or pledge for rights to name one of the spaces as a lasting legacy.


Dr. Greg Labyak, Vice-president of Instructional Services for the College, presented the closing remarks.  “We are very serious about students having a top-notch educational experience,” he said.  “This facility will allow us to provide that.”


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