by MATT MOLINAR//Editor-in-Chief
A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held at the new Lubbock Center, officially opening it for the semester.
On Sept. 26, a grand opening and dedication was held for the new facility at its location at 3907 Avenue Q, where they honored partnerships and contributors to the success of the Lubbock Center.
After an Introduction given by Kevin McConic, executive director of the Lubbock Center, Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of South Plains College, gave acknowledgements and showed gratitude toward the Lubbock Center’s Partners in Education. Contributors of the Partners in Education include the Helen Jones Foundation, the CH Foundation, and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance.
“We are particularly grateful for those who helped fund this,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “This is the perfect demonstration, I believe, of private industries and public organizations coming together to meet the needs of our students, our community and our employers in the city of Lubbock.”
Dr. Satterwhite also thanked Dr. Kelvin Sharp, former president of SPC, for his vision for the Lubbock Center and other contributions to the college.
South Plains College has a 45-year history with Lubbock education and work-force development. Beginning with a vocational nursing program in a small facility on Avenue Q, SPC’s Lubbock enrollment number has increased from 550 students to 3,400 students. Through the years, SPC administration and staff have worked along with businesses to develop education in a growing community.
“That is what West Texans do,” said Mike Box, chairman of the Board of Regents at SPC. “We work together to bring change and opportunity. This is a shining example of what we can do for the good of the community. Opportunity changes everything.”
Dan Pope, mayor of Lubbock, pointed out that the biggest challenge regarding economic development has been the preparation of the city’s work force. He stated during the dedication that the location of the new center provides hope for certain members of the Lubbock community.
“There are a lot of teenage men and women that live within a mile of this new center,” Pope remarked with passion during the dedication. “They need a path to a great job. Many of them have no desire to go to Texas Tech University. They need two years of really good work-force training. This is critical to our community.”
McConic says the five-year plan for the Lubbock Center is to continue growing Lubbock’s work force.
“We want to make sure that the business need is met in our community,” McConic told the Plainsman Press. “We want to grow what core classes we teach here. We also want to make sure to give opportunity to traditional and non-traditional students. Whatever we can do to build the work force in Lubbock.”