Kenai Peninsula College is bursting at the seams, and that’s a good thing.
The college, with its main Kenai River Campus right in our backyard, has seen a rapid growth in the number of students enrolled in various programs and an expansion of the services provided to them.
However, officials maintain things are getting snug — space is in high demand and the continually improving curriculum at the college keeps attracting more students.
That’s why we are pleased with recent news that by August 2013, KPC will have two new buildings to accommodate its growth — a student housing facility and a new career and technical center.
The new buildings will allow the college to grow in size and ambition, and that’s nothing but good news for our area.
The growth of the college provides jobs, economic opportunity and also builds and strengthens the community.
The amount of construction jobs created by the college’s work is no drop in the bucket. Plus, a growing college means more economic possibilities for the surrounding area — products and services more and more students will need in both the summer and winter.
Thanks to the new student housing, local businesses can bank on at least 100 new full time residents moving into the economy.
Colleges also have benefits to the community beyond the economic base they provide — things that can not necessarily be measured.
Having the opportunity for a good education locally will hopefully create a culture among more of our high school students to strive to earn a college degree. And with those services in place at KPC, they need not look elsewhere than their own backyard if they choose.
But, with the new dorms opening up, the college will serve double duty to bring in students from other areas. We think the idea of catering to students from rural areas that aren’t ready for the bigger culture shock of living in metropolitan areas like Anchorage or Fairbanks is a great idea.
The Peninsula welcomes these students, even if it is just for a short time. And in turn, we think all residents should welcome the increasing student population.
Frankly it’s a good investment to have a well-trained workforce for the future and KPC is going a long way in providing that.
It’s also good for any community to have well-rounded and educated students and citizens to better the community dialogue, add diverse perspectives and broaden the local art and culture.
In short: Development of new student dorms and career and technical center at Kenai Peninsula College make for an exciting time and we look forward to supporting the college’s growth and ambitions.