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Lone Star College-Conroe Center Breaks Ground on New Campus

Community officials ‘dig in’ at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lone Star College-Conroe Center campus. Pictured from left to right are: Mike Barnhill, vice chair of the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council; Roy Morton, chair of the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Richard G. Carpenter, chancellor of LSCS; Dr. Austin A. Lane, president of LSC-Montgomery; Alan “Barb” Sadler, Montgomery County Judge; and Webb Melder, mayor of the City of Conroe.Building on its strong and lasting bond with the Conroe community, Lone Star College-Montgomery broke ground on a new campus, Lone Star College-Conroe Center, on January 29, in the midst of several Lone Star College System officials, community leaders, including Congressman Kevin Brady, and students, staff, and faculty.  
“This is the third—and final—groundbreaking ceremony for our college, and honestly, one of the most exciting,” said Dr. Austin A. Lane, president of LSC-Montgomery. “In many ways, we’re coming back to our roots and expanding the vision of those who came before us.”
At a size almost triple that of the existing center, the new LSC-Conroe Center will include a 67,000-square-foot academic building that will house 12 general classrooms, eight computer labs, dedicated biology, geology, and physics laboratories, and 12 faculty offices.
The campus will also have a separate 16,000-square-foot industrial building that will include two full-service bays for the automotive and diesel technology programs. This building will include innovative training equipment for the welding; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); and machining programs.
In addition, the campus will feature a bookstore, library, testing center, tutoring, counseling, financial aid, and other services.
“Conroe is finally getting its own college, one that’s both accessible and greatly needed,” said Alan “Barb” Sadler, Montgomery County judge.
The new LSC-Conroe Center will be located at 777 N. FM 3083 E., between Pollok Drive and TX DOT Road. Due to cold wind, rain, and cloudy skies, the groundbreaking ceremony and reception took place next door to the future site of the campus, at Conroe Machine.
Dr. Richard Carpenter, chancellor of LSCS, said the groundbreaking ceremony and the construction of the new campus “did not culminate by happenstance but rather the sustained efforts of many people.”
In May 2008, a bond referendum was passed that included the construction of LSC-Conroe Center, as well as three classroom buildings (Music Hall, Health Science Center, and General Academic Center) and a much-needed parking garage for the LSC-Montgomery campus.
The new LSC-Conroe Center campus is also the result of the partnership between the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council, the city of Conroe, and the Conroe Industrial Development Council, who all worked extensively with the college to help facilitate a land deal that would provide adequate space for the center.
Lori Mendel, a resident of Willis and current student of LSC-Montgomery, represented the students of north Montgomery County at the ceremony. Although she’ll transfer to Sam Houston State University to pursue her bachelor’s degree before the new LSC-Conroe Center is open, she expressed her excitement for the convenient and affordable access that her area will have to higher education.
“The closest community college is 24 miles away, which is the same distance to the closest major university,” said Mendel. “After traveling to school at least three times a week, the money I would have saved on gas alone would have covered my textbooks. In fact, had I been closer to a college, I might have returned to school sooner.”
The architectural firm Perspectiva has designed the new campus, and EMJ Construction, Inc. will handle the construction.
The campus will be completed by January 2011, in time for the start of the Spring 2011 semester.
For more information about the upcoming construction projects at LSC-Montgomery and the new LSC-Conroe Center, please visit www.LoneStar.edu/construction-updates.
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 58,000 students in credit classes this fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.