SLCC campus St. Martin site choice expected in 30 days

A decision on where to build South Louisiana Community College’s new campus in St. Martin Parish could come in the next 30 days with construction still set to begin in July, college officials said Wednesday.

In the past year, the college has issued several requests for proposals for donations of 9 acres of property to replace its campus in St. Martinville.

Three proposals were received earlier this year with two of the sites in St. Martinville and one in Breaux Bridge, said Christine Payton, SLCC public relations director.

The college’s Evangeline campus is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Repairs needed for the facility outweigh the cost to rebuild the campus.

Payton said construction is on track for a July start on the new, $9.2 million, 36,489-square-foot building and campus.

Initially, the replacement campus was planned across the street from the site on property donated by the St. Martin Parish School Board.

Construction was set to begin in July 2013 with a potential move-in date of August 2014, but the site was reconsidered because it would landlock the new campus — restricting expansion, officials have said.

The college’s request for proposals set minimum requirements for a potential campus site: a contiguous 9 acres, direct access to major streets, and utilities infrastructure in place.

Copies of the submitted proposals were not readily available Wednesday.

The three proposals are under review by the nonprofit, third-party group created to help facilitate construction projects within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the LCTCS Facilities Corp., said Quintin Taylor, the system’s executive director of media relations.

Taylor said the LCTCS Facilities Corp. plans to select a site within the next 30 days.

If one of the new sites is accepted as a viable option for the campus, the college will donate the Martin Luther King Jr. site back to the school board, Payton said.

The Evangeline campus has been in line for a replacement since 2007, when the project received funding authorized by the Legislature as part of a $173.7 million bond package for construction projects on community and technical college campuses across the state.