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Ground-breaking news: Delgado opens new campus at Sidney Collier

Compiled from staff  reports

At 9:52 a.m.  Aug. 29, 2005, the levees breached and flooded New Orleans East, including what was then called Sidney Collier Technical College. The campus remained shuttered until Delgado acquired it in April 2010, when Louisiana Technical College Region One merged with Delgado. Before Hurricane Katrina, Sidney Collier’s enrollment approached 1,000 students, the highest of all Region One campuses.

Fast-forward  to 9:52 a.m., Aug. 29, 2014 at Sidney Collier, and instead of a hurricane-damaged campus, is the ribbon-cutting for the brand-new Delgado Sidney Collier campus at 3727 Louisa Street in New Orleans.The new Delgado location is in the Desire-Florida area of New Orleans, between Gentilly and the Ninth Ward. The $21 million Delgado Sidney Collier site replaces the former Louisiana Technical College Sidney Collier campus that was devastated by floodwaters during Hurricane Katrina and subsequently demolished.

Among those who addressed the attendees were: Joan Y. Davis, Delgado Community College chancellor; Woody Oge’, Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors; Dr. Monty Sullivan, LCTCS president; and Mitchell J. Landrieu, New Orleans mayor.

“For nearly a decade, Aug.29 has been a date that New Orleanians who experienced the devastation of the 2005 flood associate with loss, with pain, and with anger,” Delgado Chancellor Joan Davis said.  “Those emotions will be with us always. However, today, Aug. 29, 2014, we celebrate the arrival of something new that has been built literally upon the ruins of a precious resource that was taken away suddenly and completely. Today, we celebrate the rebirth of this community, and of the dream of improvement through education that this beautiful campus represents. Delgado Sidney Collier belongs to all New Orleanians. We present it to you today with pride and love.”

“Nine years ago, New Orleans stared into the unknown as Hurricane Katrina left our great American city in ruins,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Today, we reflect upon how far we have come and celebrate the dedication of the new Delgado Community College Sidney Collier campus. “In following their mission, Delgado plays an important role in our community by equipping citizens with the necessary education and training to compete for the jobs of the future. The new Sidney Collier campus provides another convenient location in the heart of the Desire-Florida neighborhood and together we are building a stronger New Orleans.”

“Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is more than the opening of a new facility,” LCTCS President Monty Sullivan said.  “It symbolizes yet another historic step in the recovery of this great city and resilient community. We believe the new Sidney Collier site will be the epicenter of an emerging vibrant and economically strong community where families can live, learn, work and thrive.”

Delgado’s Sidney Collier site is helping to revitalize the Desire-Florida neighborhood by serving as a pathway for residents to obtain job skills and employment. The school’s curriculum is aligned with community needs and interests, and the campus is expected to function as a community center and to be a focus of community pride. Many of the programs offered by Delgado at the new location have never been available to residents in that part of the city and region.

In Fall 2014, Delgado Sidney Collier is offering the following for-credit programs: Associate of Arts Transfer Degree; Associate of General Studies; Associate of Science Transfer Degree; Technical Diplomas in HVAC/R, Barber-Styling, Cosmetology and Practical Nursing; Certificates of Technical Studies in HVAC/R, Carpentry, Electrician-Commercial, Electrician-Residential, Electrician-Small Industrial and General Studies.

The opening of the Delgado Sidney Collier location also brings new opportunities to students at nearby high schools. Students will be able to take advantage of dual enrollment at Delgado, enabling them to broaden their educational experiences and earn credits toward career credentials faster.

The new Delgado Sidney Collier site offers courses leading to the associate’s degree and transfer to four-year institutions, certificates of technical study, technical diplomas, and well as non-credit courses, English as a second language instruction and high school equivalency diploma preparation.

Funds to build the new Delgado Sidney Collier site total $21 million, with $12 million provided through the State of Louisiana and $9 million through FEMA. The location is being constructed in two phases, the first (open now) financed by the state and the second by the federal government. Construction of the state-funded phase of the project began in May 2013 and ended in time for the grand opening in August 2014. Construction of the federally financed phase is now underway and is expected to conclude in 2015.

When all construction is completed next year, the new Delgado Sidney Collier site will be anchored by two conjoined two-story buildings with a main entrance facing the corner of Louisa Street and Higgins Boulevard. The state-funded part of the campus includes 36,000 square feet of space for classrooms, offices and support functions such as information technology. The federally- funded part opening in 2015 will offer an additional 25,000 square feet dedicated to student services, including a library and student government offices, as well as classrooms, workshops and laboratories. The design includes a courtyard, dedicated space for future expansion, and approximately 100,000 square feet of landscaped grounds and parking.

Delgado, the largest and oldest community college in Louisiana, now offers instruction at nine locations around the New Orleans region: Delgado City Park Campus, Delgado West Bank Campus, Delgado Charity School of Nursing, Delgado Sidney Collier, Delgado at UNO, and the Delgado Maritime, Fire and Industrial Training Facility (all in New Orleans); Delgado Northshore (Slidell); Delgado Jefferson (Metairie); and the Jefferson Business and Career Solutions Center (Gretna).

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