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SearchNew Campus – Coming Spring 2014
RPCC Newsroom
March 22, 2013


“If you’re a part of this community, stand up,” Dr. Joe Ben Welch, RPCC Chancellor, stated.

Approximately 200 people rose at Dr. Joe Ben Welch’s request and received his heartfelt gratitude at RPCC’s first groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, March 21. 

“The community support for this effort…overwhelming,” Welch said.  “Thank you for serving as the heart and soul and backbone of all we do here.”

An excerpt of Dr. Welch’s speech can be found on RPCC’s Facebook page, facebook.com/rpcc.edu.

Dr. Welch thanked the community at RPCC’s first groundbreaking, which was for Phase 1 of construction at RPCC’s new campus.  Scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2014, Phase 1 will include an 81,000-square-foot building that will house academic programs and administrative offices.

Phase 2 of construction will include the Advanced Technology Center, a building that will house RPCC’s technical programs.

The future home of RPCC sits on 43 acres of land at the intersection of Highway 44 and Interstate 10 in Gonzales.  This site, which sits just three miles away from RPCC’s rented facility on John LeBlanc Boulevard, will represent the first time that RPCC students take courses at a campus that is not rented.

One of the members of the community whom Dr. Welch recognized was Mr. Jim Hull.  Mr. Hull is the Vice President of Manufacturing at Axiall Corporation, which was the official sponsor of the groundbreaking ceremony.  Axiall Corporation formed on January 29, 2013, when Georgia Gulf Corporation merged with PPG’s commodity chemical business.  Axiall Corporation is a leading North American manufacturer and international marketer of two integrated chemical product lines, chlorovinyls and aromatics.  Axiall Corporation’s chemical products can be found in plastics, pulp and paper production, packaging, chemical intermediates, pharmaceuticals, medical and agricultural applications and paints, acrylics and varnishes.  Axiall Corporation operates chemical manufacturing facilities in Plaquemine and Lake Charles, LA, as well as Texas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Washington and the Ontario Province, Canada.

Dr. Bill Martin, Executive Vice Chancellor at RPCC, added a special thank you of his own.

“We all remember the journey, and we appreciate your support in getting here today.”

Thank you to everyone who made this special day possible.


River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, La., is an open-admission, two-year, postsecondary public institution dedicated to developing and assisting students in achieving personal, professional and academic success. A component of the Louisiana Community and Technical College system and its board of supervisors, RPCC serves the Louisiana river parishes by providing transferable courses and curricula through certificates and associate's degrees. Please visit www.rpcc.edu or call (225) 675-8270 for more information.