SOWELA Technical Community College’s Main Campus is currently undergoing an extensive rebuild project due to damage incurred from hurricanes Laura and Delta. Several of the 13 buildings on campus sustained moderate to major roof and/or structural damage.
Construction is broken up into three phases. Phase I began December 2, 2020 and is scheduled to end in April 2021. Phase 1 includes the following buildings: Transportation Technology Building, Phillips 66 Process Technology Building, H.C. Drew Nursing and Allied Health Building, Regional Training Center, Sycamore Student Center, and Gerstner Building.
Phase II buildings will have a pre-bid meeting in February with the project scheduled to go out for bid following the meeting. Buildings included in Phase II are the Charleston, Magnolia, Pelican, Chennault, and Cypress. Once the bid for Phase II is awarded, the contractor has 150 days to complete.
Phase III of construction has moved ahead of Phase II, which includes the Arts & Humanities Building. This facility was deemed a total loss and is vital to classroom capacity. As a result, priorities have shifted to bring this building back online faster than originally anticipated. Demolition is scheduled for February with rebuilding taking place soon after. A tentative completion date for all three phases is August 2021.
Due to issues involving the roof of the Calcasieu Building, and so it would not hold up the progress of the other buildings, it has been removed from Phase II and put into a new phase (IV). The architects and engineers are working out the roof issues and the Calcasieu Building is scheduled to go out for bid in March and be completed by August 2021.
Minimal damage occurred at SOWELA’s instructional sites in Jennings and Oakdale, La. These facilities are being repaired and are operating as normal.
Many students, faculty and staff returned to the Lake Charles campus in November 2020 to finish out the fall semester. Classes with badly damaged rooms were relocated to other facilities on campus to continue providing students with face-to-face instruction in a safe environment. For the Spring 2021 semester, classes will start at all three locations in Lake Charles, Jennings and Oakdale on Tuesday, January 19.
As the rebuild progresses, check back here for additional updates.