In 2017, Lewiston voters approved a $59.8 million bond to construct a new high school.
Its passage followed failures of similar measures in 2010 and 2011. Key to the latest bond’s success was a partnership between the Lewiston School District and Lewis-Clark State College.
The new high school in the Lewiston Orchards will feature a career and technical education center. Adjacent to it, LCSC will construct its own $22 million tech center, giving students a chance to build on what they learn at the high school.
LCSC’s employee of the year, Erika Allen, has been instrumental in the college meeting its obligation.
A first-generation college student, she helped the school land a $2 million donation from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories for the project.
It was the largest cash donation in the institution’s history. SEL founder and President Edmund O. Schweitzer III and his wife, Beatriz, are giving another $1 million. With the Schweitzer money, LCSC has about $7 million left to raise for the center.
The new facility will house LCSC’s information technology, industrial electronics, auto mechanics, computer numerically controlled machining, engineering, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration programs, as well as part of its millwright program.
Allen’s work on the center is just part of what she has accomplished for the college.
Since January 2015, the assets of the college’s foundation have increased by 65 percent. That money has helped a variety of efforts, such as student scholarships and facility upgrades.
Among them were renovations of the Silverthorne Theater and Harris Field.
New windows, lighting and seating, as well as access improvements for those with disabilities, were part of a $1.3 million renovation of the theater, which was built in 1924.
The almost $600,000 of work at Harris Field involved replacing the main grandstand behind home plate and the scoreboard.
Allen’s contributions have attracted the attention of LCSC’s new president, Cynthia Pemberton.
“It has been a very busy year at LCSC and (Allen) has played an important leadership role in much of it,” Pemberton said. “LCSC is fortunate to have someone of (Allen’s) talents and work ethic on its team.”
Title: Director of college advancement and executive director of the Lewis-Clark State College Foundation
Employer: Lewis-Clark State College
Education: Bachelor’s from University of California, Los Angeles; master’s from the University of La Verne, a private school in La Verne, Calif.; doctoratoral student in higher education administration at Idaho State University.
Career history: Previously was director of development at the Northwest Children’s Home. Has been coordinator of the Violence Prevention & Women’s Resource Center at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and education and outreach coordinator for Project SISTER Family Services in California.
Family: Married to Ryan; four children, Daemyen, Zack, Alana, Ryan Jr.
Civic involvement: Vice chairwoman of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs; volunteer with Women’s Connection of the Lewis-Clark Valley since 2011.