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Lamar State College in Port Arthur plans to build on campus dorm
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
Students deciding where to go to college have something new to consider. Lamar State College in Port Arthur plans to build an on campus dormitory. They have not had an on campus dorm since their last one was torn down in 1967. The school hopes to attract students from all over Texas, and the world, with on campus living.
Students we spoke with are excited about the new dorm.
"I want to live, like, 'the college life' and I feel like the dorms are like one of the main things about that," said Alejandra Segura, president of the student honor society.
However, no Lamar State College students live on campus.
"So, I feel like with the dorms here a lot of people are going to want to come," she said.
Most students who come to Lamar State University live in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. The college president, Dr. Sam Monroe, said they've begun to see increased interest in their school's programs from students across Texas and overseas.
"For programs like our commercial music program, our computer game design program, our nursing program," said Dr. Monroe. "So this [dorm] would be a way to facilitate and recruit those students here."
The college rents off-campus apartments for its' athletes. A new dorm would offer a new option, and potentially draw more athletes.
"It's also an opportunity to house our athletes on campus," said Dr. Monroe. "The men's basketball team, the women's softball team, and we're beginning the volleyball team for women next fall, in the Fall of 2014. So, there's another group where we'd want to be recruiting outside this immediate area."
The director of Port Arthur's Economic Development Corporation, Floyd Batiste, hopes having students live on campus will draw more businesses into downtown Port Arthur.
"With those 100 students living there every day, some other entities--private sector-- may choose to come into that area and locate and do business," said Batiste. "So, it's all part of the revitalization of that part of town."
Batiste said, in ten years, downtown Port Arthur will look very different.
"The vision there is to bring a better quality of life, to make it a more active community," he said.
If the dorm fills up, Dr. Monroe plans to build more.
When asked what she thought of the new dorm, Shelbi Pellegrin, a student, smiled.
"It would get me out of my mom's house," Pellegrin chuckled.