ARLEY, Alabama – Wallace State Community College and Arley City Council solidified their plans Monday night to establish a $ 500,000 community learning center on city property next to Meek Baptist Church. A resolution passed by city council agreed to lease the 4.2-acre property to Wallace State for $ 1 per year.
An additional $ 230,000 credit secured by state lawmakers, Representative Tim Wadsworth and Senators Greg Reed and Garlan Gudger Jr., allowed the plans to be fully implemented. With an average college attendance rate of 41% for high school graduates and around 23% of the county’s population without a high school diploma, leaders in the region see the development as extremely beneficial to the community.
“I think once you have a college in your area that helps. The community will grow, ”said Representative Wadsworth. “This is something that we have been working on for a few years. We are very fortunate to have been able to secure funds in the budget this time around.
Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics shared some of the plans for the Winston County Community Learning Center with city council and community members in attendance.
The college has proposed a 4,550 square foot facility that could include eight classrooms and computer labs that can be used for college classes, adult education, community education, dual enrollment and more.
“To our principals, what we want to do is serve the community first, and in that community we want to serve your high school graduates and your non-traditional students, your adults,” said Dr. Karolewics. “I want to work with you to improve the university attendance rate for students here in Winston County. It is difficult for them to leave home and travel a long way to get to university. What we want to do is make dual registration more accessible. We want to make our classes on the main campus more accessible.
The facility will have adult education staff and a career coach on site, Karolewics said. “So we will have links to what we offer on the main campus as well as adult education classes here. “
With funds guaranteed by the Alabama community college system for dual enrollment, Karolewics said the college will use some of that for high school students in Meek, Addison and Winston County.
More funds guaranteed by ACCS will be used to deliver rapid training through the ACCS Innovation Center. “We will have the opportunity to connect through online portals to fast, non-credit vocational training and bring vocational training here,” Karolewics said.
The timing of the completion of construction of the prefabricated building that will house the Winston County Community Learning Center will coincide with the installation of Sprout fiber internet service, Karolewics said.
“I think this is great for our community and I hope it is good for all of you,” Arley Mayor Chris Tyree said before council passed a resolution to rent the property out. middle School.
“It’s a real blessing,” Diane Allison, Arley resident and retired educator, said of the project.
Previously, Wallace State had established Winston County Works in 2016, helping hundreds of residents get short-term basic training to support industry-recognized certification and credentials, making job opportunities easier for them. participants in high-growth and high-demand occupations. He also encapsulated the Ready to Work program and continued to offer adult education classes for those seeking their GED certificates.
For more information on Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu or call 256.352.8000.