“If you’re a part of
this community, stand up,” Dr. Joe Ben Welch, RPCC Chancellor, stated.
Approximately 200 people rose at Dr. Joe Ben Welch’s request
and received his heartfelt gratitude at RPCC’s first groundbreaking ceremony on
Thursday, March 21.
“The community support for this effort…overwhelming,” Welch said. “Thank you for serving as the heart and soul
and backbone of all we do here.”
An excerpt of Dr.
Welch’s speech can be found on RPCC’s Facebook page, facebook.com/rpcc.edu.
Dr. Welch thanked the community at RPCC’s first groundbreaking,
which was for Phase 1 of construction at RPCC’s new campus. Scheduled to be completed in the spring of
2014, Phase 1 will include an 81,000-square-foot building that will house
academic programs and administrative offices.
Phase 2 of construction will include the Advanced Technology
Center, a building that will house RPCC’s technical programs.
The future home of RPCC sits on 43 acres of land at the
intersection of Highway 44 and Interstate 10 in Gonzales. This site, which sits just three miles away
from RPCC’s rented facility on John LeBlanc Boulevard, will represent the first
time that RPCC students take courses at a campus that is not rented.
One of the members of the community whom Dr. Welch
recognized was Mr. Jim Hull. Mr. Hull is
the Vice President of Manufacturing at Axiall Corporation, which was the
official sponsor of the groundbreaking ceremony. Axiall Corporation formed on January 29,
2013, when Georgia Gulf Corporation merged with PPG’s commodity chemical
business. Axiall Corporation is a
leading North American manufacturer and international marketer of two
integrated chemical product lines, chlorovinyls and aromatics. Axiall Corporation’s chemical products can be
found in plastics, pulp and paper production, packaging, chemical
intermediates, pharmaceuticals, medical and agricultural applications and
paints, acrylics and varnishes. Axiall
Corporation operates chemical manufacturing facilities in Plaquemine and Lake
Charles, LA, as well as Texas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Washington and the
Ontario Province, Canada.
Dr. Bill Martin, Executive Vice Chancellor at RPCC, added a
special thank you of his own.
“We all remember the journey, and we appreciate your support
in getting here today.”
Thank you to everyone who made this special day possible.