December 16, 2015 – The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) has announced a $200,000 grant over three years to go towards Fort Lewis College’s (FLC) new Geosciences , Physics & Engineering Hall. The funding is a way for LPEA to support the community, as well as an investment where the return is a top notch workforce. The grant will come from Unclaimed Capital Credits.
“Unclaimed Capital Credits belong to the community, so the Board sought to provide the broadest benefit to the people we serve, and the college was a good fit,” says LPEA CEO Mike Dreyspring. “Plus, from the cooperative’s standpoint, we are in need of well-trained engineers. Our current engineers who began college at Fort Lewis, had to complete their degrees at other institutions. Now we will literally be able to grow our own professionals and participate with the college on needs for the future.”
FLC’s engineering program has evolved over the past several years, receiving international recognition as an ABET accredited program. Subsequently, the number of students coming to Fort Lewis College to study engineering has increased dramatically. Lack of space to accommodate the burgeoning program is one of the reasons the new building is so important.
“I’d like to offer a huge, electrifying thank you to LPEA for their support of the new Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall at Fort Lewis College,” says FLC President Dene Thomas. “This new facility will be an incredible asset to our students and to our community. Companies and organizations in our area looking for exceptionally well trained employees need look no further than their college up on the hill.”
LPEA has a longstanding relationship investing in Fort Lewis College. Plaques bearing the organization’s name are displayed in the Student Union and the Community Concert Hall in recognition of their support of those facilities.
With their grant, LPEA joins a growing list of organizations that are partnering with FLC on the new building. The college is working with the U.S. Air Force, for example, as a part of the Falcon Telescope Network. The new telescope to be placed on top of the Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall will allow FLC to join institutions across the globe in tracking space debris in orbit around Earth in an effort to keep astronauts and satellites out of harm’s way.
Construction on the new Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall is currently underway, with completion of the $35 million facility due in fall 2016.