In the on-going effort at Lake Region State College (LRSC) to meet the growing and changing needs of its students the building now known as the Erlandson Building may one day have a much different look.
Presently it houses the school’s automotive, wind, precision agriculture technology courses shops and classrooms.
The college itself has remained virtually unchanged since the campus was constructed in the 1960s and 70s.
The enrollment in 1970 was 700.
Forty years later, not a single new building has been built on campus, yet the college now serves 3,000 students per year on campus and throughout the state using distance learning technology.
The school has been responsive to its growth, remodeling and rearranging its original “footprint,” cramming personnel and students wherever it can be done creatively. Closets became offices, a dormitory became the library, an old church building was moved onto campus to store theater props and provide rehearsal space and several programs have had to locate off campus in rented facilities.
Nowhere has the space crunch been felt more acutely than by the technical education programs located in the Erlandson Building.
This has led the campus community and its supporters to work to address these needs.
They have a plan.
LRSC has worked with architects to design an expansion and renovation project that adds 24,000 square feet of new construction to the 39,000 square feet of shop and classroom space that exists in the building at this time. To further that plan, a request for funding in the amount of $5,950,000 was included in the North Dakota University System budget for legislative consideration during the 2012-13 session.
The renewed Technical Center will be the home base to several programs including nursing, peace officer training, simulation technology, wind energy technology, automotive technology, farm business management and precision agriculture.
Community member Annette Hofstad chairs a group called the Friends of Lake Region State College, an ad hoc group organized to spread the word about the critical need for legislative funding to support the major renovation and expansion of the technical center. The group believes that in past legislative sessions this capital construction need has been overlooked and perhaps over shadowed by Devils Lake’s water crisis. They are hoping, now, that finally the LRSC tech center renovation project will receive careful scrutiny and become a top legislative priority.
Contact Annette Hofstad, chair, e-mail LRSCFoundation@LRSC.edu or visit the college website: www.LRSC.edu for more information about these plans or the Friends of LRSC group.