New LCSC center won’t open in fall

An artist rendering of the new Schweitzer CTE Center sits out front of the state-of-the-art career technical education building that is under construction in this photo from early May. The building won't open as scheduled this fall because of delays in the supply chain, it was announced Monday.

The opening of Lewis-Clark State College’s career and technical education center has been delayed because of supply chain issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Schweitzer Career and Technical Education Center under construction in the Lewiston Orchards was scheduled to open this fall, but that timeline has now been pushed back to spring of 2021.

The Idaho Division of Public Works recently accepted the contractor’s request for an extension.

“Supply chain delays resulting from the pandemic have proved insurmountable,” said LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton in a news release. “The building will not be substantially complete and will not be ready for classes by the start of school in August. Because of this, while we are still anticipating our ribbon cutting event in late October, we will plan to officially move into the building between Thanksgiving and January and launch its full occupancy and use with the spring 2021 semester.”

The first day of the spring semester at LCSC is scheduled for Jan. 19.

The Schweitzer Career and Technical Education Center was originally supposed to open at the same time as the new Lewiston High School and the district’s A. Neil DeAtley Career Technical Education Center located nearby, which are both still set to open this fall.

The college’s regional career technical education center will serve students from LCSC, the neighboring high school and others throughout the region.

Once it opens, the more than 86,000-square-foot building will house most of the college’s technical and industrial division programs. It includes three levels with 19 classrooms, seven shops and a community conference room.

“I want to personally thank and commend all who worked so tirelessly to try and avoid having us land in this place,” Pemberton said. “But, we are where we are, and will adapt and plan for spring 2021.”

The Idaho Legislature approved the career technical education building in 2017 and appropriated $10 million, with the requirement that LCSC match the funds.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories donated $2 million to the project, while SEL founder Edmund O. Schweitzer III and his wife, Beatriz, donated another $1 million.

According to LCSC’s website, the college still has about $1 million worth of naming opportunities for various areas of the building.

Tomtas may be contacted at jtomtas@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2294. Follow her on Twitter @jtomtas.

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