Foundation takes control of campus

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Union Parish Growth and Development Foundation has leased the former Farmerville High School property from the UP School Board. That’s the property that currently houses the local campus of Louisiana Delta Community College.

Foundation founder Glen Post said the goal is to help Delta until funding is stronger and the college can stand on its own.

“The Foundation raised money to renovate the school and help Delta move here because they were low on funds and trying to figure out ways to expand,” Post said. “We had worked hard to help them get the satellite campus here. Things were going pretty well and then COVID hit and things just kind of came to a standstill.”

Despite the Foundation giving financial assistance, the members know it takes local leadership to make the campus thrive.

Delta’s Interim Chancellor, Chris Broadwater, asked Post about former State Senator Mike Walsworth, who had worked with the Foundation from the beginning to secure Delta’s presence in Farmerville.

“Mike has been with us from the beginning of this project,” Post said. “Back when he was in the legislature. He’s energetic and sincere and goes around to schools and businesses representing the school.”

Walsworth, working on behalf of the Foundation, is leading the charge to prepare the campus for the future. “I have relationships at the community college, in Union Parish and at the state level. Most of the things in education you can do online. Right now, with COVID, education is turning a little more to online.

With that and the hurricane, those situations, I think we’re trying to find that right niche and keep moving forward. Not fall back.”

Broadwater said right now, along with the HISET GED, the Farmerville campus is looking to provide shortterm, industry-based credentials to prepare people for the workplace. “These are what employers are looking for to see if someone is competent in a certain skill that is needed in the workforce.”

Walsworth said campus updates are happening during this “down time” as well. “We are investing, we’re putting some new furniture in. It’s beginning to look a little bit more, inside, like a college campus,” Walsworth said. “The leadership of Farmerville and Union Parish, with the Foundation and we’re just not going to let that (campus) die. We’re going to continue to move forward and make sure that it is successful.”