Lehigh Carbon Community College will receive $1 million in state funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RCAP) to fund façade and roof renovations at its downtown Allentown Donley Center.
The funds come from State Sen. Pat Browne (R-16) and State Reps. Peter Schweyer (D-22) and Mike Schlossberg (D-132), and are part of a total $7.5 million that has been secured for several downtown Allentown projects.
Since 1999, LCCC’s Donley Center has been downtown Allentown’s hub for education and job training. Each year, more than 500 degree-seeking students attend classes at the site to prepare for jobs in healthcare, business and criminal justice among others.
Enrollment at the Allentown site reflects the city’s demographics, with nearly 65 percent of students identifying as Hispanic. LCCC offers noncredit programs, such as English as a Second Language and Literacy courses, to support city residents in their job-seeking efforts and personal development.
The Donley Center is in need of renovations to update the building to match the surrounding downtown development. The seven-story site sits on 0.18-acres in downtown Allentown. Constructed in 1902, the building was remodeled in the 1940s with the addition of the seventh floor and stucco facade. LCCC purchased the building in 1999 and renovated it to accommodate a college campus.
The college will match the $1-million grant with an additional $1 million for the total project cost.
Sen. Browne and Reps. Schweyer and Schlossberg worked together to ensure that funds allow organizations to continue their vital work, with projects ranging from restoring vacant and historic buildings, supporting area college capital projects, and renovations to nonprofit organizations’ facilities.
LCCC President Dr. Ann D. Bieber said, “The college’s first campus opened in downtown Allentown in 1966, so the college’s presence in the downtown area is integral to our service to the community. We appreciate our area legislators’ commitment to higher education and to a vital college center in Allentown.”