Kaskaskia College held an Open House/ Dedication ceremony at the newly expanded Trenton Education center on Saturday, October 11 at the new Center, located on Highway 50 in Trenton.
“It is a happy day in Trenton!” said Dr. Dee Boswell, welcoming the crowd on behalf of the KC Board of Trustees. “With your help we have created a premier center for higher learning in western Clinton County. Thanks to the new center, we have been able to expand our quality educational offerings and opportunities for students. Our primary mission is the success of our students, and we are committed to being here for the long haul.”
Dr. James Underwood, President of KC, said “The Trenton Education Center is a dream turned into reality through the help of so many.” Dr. Underwood thanked all of those who contributed time and resources to the project, including Steering Committee chair Mike Conley of the Trenton Sun and the members of the Steering Committee. Dr. Underwood spoke of the invaluable assistance of the City of Trenton, which turned over the building to the College for the expansion of the new Center. He also acknowledged the quality work of the architectural firm BLDD Architects and the general contractor Morrissey Construction, as well as the numerous sub-contractors. Randy West of BLDD and Tom Morrissey of Morrissey Construction were on hand.
Mayor Kyle Jones of Trenton spoke of the hard work of the City Council to be able to transfer the building to the College. Mayor Jones is excited for the opportunities for area students and for the prospected positive economic impact of the region in attracting new employers with a well-trained workforce.
The meeting took place in the expandable classroom of the Center, a room which can serve as up to four separate classrooms or be expanded by sliding back the soundproofed walls to accommodate larger gatherings. Guided tours showcased other areas, such as the nursing laboratory, computer labs, and the industrial training area which currently serves 30 welding students in the KC welding program. The new Center, at nearly 16,000 square feet, replaces the first Center, which took up only part of the building with 3,800 square feet.
“The 1999 experiment to reach students we had not reached before has been a success,” Dr. Underwood said. “Enrollments have already grown beyond our projections. This Center stands as a model of the Kaskaskia College commitment to bring education to the times and places convenient to the learner.”
Other speakers included Mike Conley, who introduced the Steering Committee members present, Donna Matanane, KC’s Construction Manager who introduced the contractors who worked on the Center, and Dr. Greg Labyak, Vice-president of Instruction for KC, who gave closing remarks.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the entrance to the Trenton Education Center, featuring community members and KC personnel.
Pictured above are: Susan Batchelor, Vice-president of Student Services; Dr. Greg Labyak, Vice-president of Instruction; Randy West of BLDD Architects; Suzanne Christ, Director of Institutional Advancement; Fr. Joseph Rascher; Laura Anderson, Director of the Trenton Center; Sandra Glasner; Trenton Police Chief Mike Jones; Jack Mays, member of the KC Board of Trustees; Mary Pennington; Kyle Jones, Mayor of Trenton; Dr. Dee Boswell of the KC Board of Trustees; Dr. Jim Underwood, President of KC; Bryan Holthaus, member of the KC Board of Trustees; Margaret Conley; George Evans, Dean of Career and Technical Education; Mike Morrissey, Sr. of Morrissey Construction, Jeff Ebel, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness; and Mike Conley, Trenton Sun