LBCC plans campus renovation; new one-stop center with bond funds

All communities served by Linn-Benton Community College will benefit from the recent passage of the school’s $19.1 million bond measure, according to President Jon Carnahan.

Carnahan said the bond, which will be a continuation of the current operating bond, will allow the college to begin construction of a one-stop center in Lebanon to serve East Linn County.

The facility will be built in cooperation with other state agencies including the Oregon Employment Department, the Community Services Consortium and Adult and Family Services.

In Sweet Home, talks are underway to further enhance the working relationship between the college and School District 55.

School District 55 is expected to present a multi-million dollar bond to voters in March for building improvement and construction. If passed, the college would work with the District to develop an on-site college center in the high school complex, Carnahan said.

Carnahan said the bulk of the bond funds will be used to renovate the main campus, which is now 30 years old. Improvements include upgrading science labs, electrical systems, industrial training facilities and maintenance.

Also planned is construction if a 40,000 square foot multi-purpose building on the main campus that would provide space for offices, classrooms and seminars.

At the Benton Center, plans call for renovation of existing facilities and construction of a 20,000 square foot annex that will provide classroom and laboratory space.

“The cost of planning is so great we didn’t want to spend funds without knowing whether the bond had passed,” Carnahan said. “We are now working with staff on development plans.”

The college’s bond is to be paid over 15 years, Carnahan said.

“This bond is intended to not just meet the needs of the centers today, but over the next 10 years plus,” Carnahan said. “We want to make sure that today’s investment will last.”

The bond, Carnahan added, will be one part of a multi-faceted program that will utilize public and private funding in the first college major gifts drive.