Lehigh Carbon Community College has begun a process that may relocate its Carbon County campus from Nesquehoning to Jim Thorpe.
"A feasibility study has been authorized," said Randy Smith.
Smith who wears many hats and is best known as the Carbon County administrator. He is also a member of the Jim Thorpe Area School District Board, the JTASD's representative to the LCCC board of trustees, and was recently appointed to serve as the JTASD'S representative to the Carbon County Vocational Technical Authority.
The feasibility study is looking at constructing a two-story building on a 10-acre parcel of land belonging to the CCVTA. The property was originally acquired for the Carbon County Vocational Technical Institute. The Vo-Tech changed its name to the Carbon County Career Institute, although, according to Smith, the authority did not change its name.
The proposed location is on authority property, a portion of which is used by CCTI. The authority has determined that the property can only be used for educational purposes and that location of a LCCC campus would be consistent with its charter.
The feasibility study will recommend to the LCCC board of directors as to proceed or not to proceed with the project.
"The LCCC main campus is right across from the Lehigh Valley Technical Institute," explained Smith. "They do a lot of collaboration together." He feels that having LCCC and CCTI on a common campus would offer similar benefits especially to turn to the school and college for retraining.
"There are a lot of mutual benefits," he said. "I think the Carbon Career & Technical Institute realizes that, LCCC realizes that, so a campus situated here in Jim Thorpe behind the CCTI has a lot of promise and possibilities."
"We will never be a campus like LCCC's main campus but we will be a much better facility to serve the Carbon County area," Smith said.
Smith said that the project is estimated at $10 million.
"Funding is always an issue. The LCCC administrative staff has a lot of skill and talent to find the kind of money that would be needed to be available to fund a project like this. It could be funded with state plus federal stimulus dollars coming into play."