Luverne Center drive improves
March 08, 2018
When a small pothole in the drive leading to the portable welding lab at LBW Community College in Luverne grew large enough to cover the entire drive, city and county officials worked with the College in the interest of safety.
“The drive is the route county school buses use when transporting high school students to class,” said Laura Elliott, LBWCC Luverne Center director. “With the hole growing wider and deeper over time, safety became an issue.”
In addition to causing safety concerns, the deep hole also had the potential to become an economic concern for the county’s education system.
“It was a progressive problem,” said Crenshaw County Commission Chairman Charlie Sankey. “She (Elliott) had worked on several solutions. Once we saw it, I knew it was something we needed to do. In addition to being a safety issue, it was a bus maintenance issue and would have cost our board of education for any problems it caused a bus.”
The Commission worked with City of Luverne Mayor Ed Beasley on the project, which required five loads of dirt and two and a half loads of gravel to repair the hole.
“It was something we could do within the realms of the law because it (LBWCC) is a state-funded institution,” said Sankey. “We can do work off the road right-of-way for an entity that is state funded.”
Merrill Sport, district 3 commissioner, said the county and city work together on such projects.
“We have a good working relationship and always work together,” he said. “Anything that improves the facility at LBW will improve the ability of people to use it.”
LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel said it is important for government entities to work together for the betterment of the community.
“We certainly appreciate the concern and efforts by city and county officials in making these needed repairs to the drive,” he said. “LBW’s presence in Luverne helps the entire county and beyond by providing an opportunity to earn a college credential, which in turn improves earning potential and impacts economic development.”
Elliott said the joint effort of the drive repair benefited all schools in the county.
According to Elliott, high school students from all four county schools attend dual enrollment classes at LBWCC in Luverne, taking courses in welding, English, history, and the “Ready to Work Program,” which provides a career pathway by teaching entry-level skills for employment with most businesses and industries in Alabama.
“We have great community support here,” said Elliott. “Our folks stand behind us and help all they can.”
Dual enrollment students earn high school and college credit while attending LBWCC, giving them a head-start in academic transfer programs and marketable skills toward a job in the career technical training programs.
“I’ve always said LBW is the best kept secret in the county,” said Sport. “I know first-hand the value of dual enrollment. I started in dual enrollment while in high school and came back to LBW to earn an Associate Degree.”
Dual enrollment classes are also offered in summer term, said Elliott.
“Summer is a great time for those interested in the welding program, or any of the academic courses,” she said. Career technical dual enrollment scholarships are available for high school students this summer, and Pell Grant funds are now available year-round, including summer term, she added.