Ground broken for WCCC-Latrobe
Before some put on hard hats and tossed dirt to signify the beginning of construction, about 140 state, county and local officials gathered under a large tent Friday for the groundbreaking for a new Westmoreland County Community College education center in Latrobe.
College President Daniel Obara said he could remember teaching night classes through the college at Latrobe High School in the 1970s.
Now, the new center — it will replace the aging Laurel Education Center down the street — will continue WCCC's mission to provide affordable education while working together with the city, nearby businesses and other local institutions like St. Vincent College, he said.
“We hope our new facility will serve as a welcomed space for these relationships to flourish,” Obara said.
The $10 million building at Jefferson and Depot streets will include 30,000 square feet of classrooms, computer and science labs, study areas and offices on two floors. The college acquired 11 downtown parcels covering 1.8 acres for the new building and 92 parking spaces.
“Today, the college is a hub for educational opportunities and excellence, a leader in workforce training and an engine for economic development,” said Bud Smail, board member of the WCCC Educational Foundation.
County Commissioner Ted Kopas called the center a “two-for-one” victory in development for both future students and the city of Latrobe, providing a resource to the students that can help “revitalize a core community.” Representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair; state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland; and state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Washington Township, offered their congratulations.
“This addition will benefit students, staff and residents of Latrobe for years to come,” said Bob John, deputy director for the governor's southwest office.
One of five centers in Westmoreland County, WCCC-Latrobe will offer community rooms for local groups or the estimated 1,000 students who will use the center.
Plans were first developed for the new center after a master facilities study by WCCC in October 2009 recommended $3.5 million in renovations.
The former Kennametal research facility was built in the 1950s and renovated in 1988 with capacity for about 450 students.
Latrobe Mayor Barbara Griffin acknowledged WCCC board member and Latrobe Councilwoman Rosie Wolford's role in bridging the relationship between the city and the college.
“She was the spark to get us moving on this,” Griffin said.
Latrobe City Manager Alex Graziani said after the ceremony that he was glad to see so many officials praising the project.
“We're kind of on display today, and I think we've put our best foot forward,” he said.
Construction of WCCC-Latrobe is scheduled to be completed for fall 2014 classes.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Endowment of $3.49B makes University of Pittsburgh 25th richest in U.S.
- Westmoreland County settles with fired public defender
- Three injured in two-vehicle accident on Arona Road in Hempfield
- Suspect in West Newton burglary sought, alleged accomplice arrested
- Rostraver Democrat aims for 1 of 3 open spots on Westmoreland County bench
- IRS scam snares another Westmoreland County resident
- Tenaska natural gas-fueled power plant’s foes air concerns to Westmoreland commissioners
- Comment periods left intact at Southmoreland School Board meetings
- Power plant proposal aired in open forum in South Huntingdon
- Latrobe police seek driver of red cargo van
- Westmoreland County Prison visitation goes digital