LCC Remodeling and Repurposing Main Street Hotel for Student Housing

Prairie Sentry

 

New student housing is on the horizon for Lamar Community College (LCC) students, thanks to the LCC Foundation, several community partners and many generous donors.

The former DJ Main Street View Inn & Suites, also known as the El Mar, is being renovated and updated and turned into student housing and, once complete, will house more than 75 students. in the complex, plus college staff in the apartment.

In total, this will expand LCC’s overall student housing from 228 beds to 310 when fully completed.

The LCC Foundation was also instrumental in the previous housing expansion, when it raised funds to build the 32-bed Prowers House residence hall unit back in 2016.

However, with changes to state energy codes and the increasing cost of construction, building more dorm pods was objectively no longer cost-effective within the college’s budget. Therefore, college leadership and the LCC Foundation began discussing options and ideas to expand housing, a critical need if LCC were to expand.

As a catalyst for progress, LCC President Dr. Linda Lujan said the LCC Foundation has been supportive of the college in many ways, and the current student housing project is no exception.

“They care deeply about LCC’s success and have been relentless in promoting the college and raising funds for a variety of needs,” Lujan said. “This project is a big lift, and they stepped up with their usual can-do spirit. I thank them and every single donor to the housing project. Because of you, LCC can continue to grow and thrive.”

Some LCC students will be moving into the new development as early as mid-August. Thirty-two rooms (64 beds) will be completed and available just in time for LCC’s August move-in day.

The idea for new student housing at LCC is not a new one. However, the Main Street student housing project didn’t get going until late 2019 when the LCC Foundation Housing Committee, including Joe Spitz, Gary Oxley and George Gotto, began considering existing local properties to transform into college housing.

The main reasons for adding new housing at LCC was to accommodate the addition of men’s and women’s NJCAA soccer teams for fall semester 2022 and anticipated growth in LCC’s career and technical education programs.

However, according to LCC Foundation Executive Director Anne-Marie Crampton, when the pandemic hit, the college and foundation were unsure what the future would bring.

“When COIVD-19 happened, it put the brakes on our progression toward new student housing,” said Crampton. “But we managed to get back on track again, and in 2021, we restarted our efforts to acquire a new property in partnership with LCC. The LCC Foundation purchased DJ Main Street View Inn & Suites in late October 2021, and the Main Street Student Housing project was born.”

The LCC Foundation continues to fundraise to cover the construction note and completion of the project’s north building. After completing that north building (which has the smallest original capacity, the project will have four new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant rooms, five additional standard rooms, and a large staff apartment and a lobby) the entire project will be done.

According to Crampton, many local contractors including Maggart & Sons, ElectraPro, Taylor Septic & Plumbing, Jay Gruber Construction and the City of Lamar have been instrumental in preparing for students before LCC classes begin on August 22.

She also said individual and organizational donations to the project will always be a tremendous help.

“Contributions toward the LCCF Main Street Student Housing project makes a significant investment in a Lamar landmark and saves it from a slow but steady decline,” said Crampton. “But most importantly, the project not only brings greater student housing capacity to the college, but it also creates an opportunity for students to live on Main Street and be an active part of Lamar.”

Donors may contribute to the project by contacting the LCC Foundation office at 719.336.1520 or foundation@lamarcc.edu. Online contributions may be given securely at coloradogives.org/LamarMainStreet. Please contact the Foundation for available naming opportunities.

Filed Under: City of LamarCollegeConsumer IssuesEducationFeaturedHousingMedia Release

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