KC campus to be huge asset to city

Though classes wont begin until January, and some furniture has yet to arrive, the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus project is close enough to completion to begin creating considerable excitement.

That excitement was evident Tuesday morning, when college officials and members of the successful capital campaign committee gathered for a breakfast meeting and participated in sneak preview tours of the new facility.

Were so proud of how this shared vision has turned into a reality, said KC President James Underwood. The college is extremely proud to have a permanent facility in Vandalia to serve the students in the northern part of our district.

It was, indeed, an inspiring sight to see the fruits of the hard work and generosity of the people of this area. The facility is even more remarkable because it was built entirely with local funds since state legislators have made no funds available to cover the state match. Hopefully, those legislators will soon pass a capital bill that will allow us to proceed with Phase II of the master plan, using the local money already invested in Phase I to serve as the local match for both phases.

As Underwood said, This is just the beginning of this campus.

But even as it sits today, the building is a beautiful start to a campus that will have a far-reaching impact on our community. It offers conventional classrooms, several science labs, a simulated hospital room for the nursing program, two large computer labs and several areas where students can congregate. Future phases will provide more classrooms including some for vocational instruction and, hopefully, a community recreation center that will house the Family YMCA of Fayette County. When completed, the campus will be one of the crown jewels of our city.

Im in awe of this building, said Jack Johnston, who, along with Ernie Chappel, served as co-chairmen of the local campaign. Im also in awe of this community that has stepped forward to make this facility a reality.

It was a good day for the college and the community. We cant wait until it actually opens in January.

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