This architect's rendering of the new science lab shows how the outside of the expanded facility will look from the southeast. The project will add 1,365 square-feet to the existing facility. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
MOVING FORWARD - Rend Lake College President Charley D. Holstein addresses the crowd at a press conference Wednesday to announce the green light on a project that will equip the RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus with a new science lab. The lab will make it possible for students to complete an associate degree from the one satellite campus. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
DRIVING EDUCATION - Dr. Gene Stotlar, a retired physician from Pinckneyville, has championed fundraising for the project to expand the Rend Lake College satellite campus in the town. Stotlar, a retired member of the RLC Foundation Board of Directors, challenged board members to pursue the project at his final meeting with them. With 70 percent of funding now in place, the college has announced it will move forward on the project once all of the $400,000 is raised. To give, or for more information, call 618-437-5321, Ext. 1214 or click here. For a larger version of the above image, CLICK HERE.
PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. – With nearly 70 percent of project funding in place, Rend Lake College announced that it will move forward with a $400,000 expansion to the Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus.
A new 1,365 square-feet science laboratory addition there would allow students to obtain an Associate Degree by taking all the necessary classes at the Pinckneyville campus. Currently, students must take science lab classes at the main campus in Ina.
RLC Foundation CEO Pat Kern joined College President Charley D. Holstein to make the announcement Wednesday at the college’s satellite campus in Pinckneyville. Holstein called it a “great day for education” in the community located on the southwestern corner of RLC District #521.
“I applaud CEO Kern and the Foundation directors who stepped up to the challenge of providing Pinckneyville students the ability to complete baccalaureate-transfer, associate degree programs in one location,” Holstein said. “Being able to complete an associate degree at one of our satellite campuses is unprecedented at RLC. For students, it cuts down on their travel time and fuel expense, as well as eliminates the dangers of travelling in inclement weather.”
Holstein explained that, if it were not for donations, the project wouldn’t be possible.
“This expansion is being budgeted and funded completely through donations to the Foundation,” he said. “Because the college relies heavily on funding from a State of Illinois that is facing an austere financial situation, we would not have the resources available for this project if it were not for the Foundation’s work.”
Kern said that although a majority of the funding is in place and the college is committed to build, workers cannot break ground until the $400,000 goal is reached.
“We still need help,” she said. “We are moving forward, but not until the funds are there. It’s been through amazing community support that we’ve made it this far. Tremendous credit is due to our Foundation Board members Dr. Bill Roe, Mary Pericolosi and Kevin Pyatt, and especially to our retired member, Dr. Gene Stotlar, who championed this project. It is because of these people that we have gotten this far.”
Contributing to the project is as easy as calling the Foundation office at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1214, and asking for either Kern or Assistant Director Shawna Manion. Kern said those interested in giving can also contact any member of the RLCF Board of Directors. The Foundation is a 501c3 tax-exempt association, meaning all gifts to the project are tax-deductible.
In February, Stotlar challenged the RLCF Board at his final meeting. He said he would like to see the science lab become the Foundation’s next project. They quickly accepted and have since raised $270,000 of the $400,000 needed to meet Stotlar’s challenge. With all the Foundation projects and initiatives the 82-year-old retired physician was involved in during his 15-year tenure on its board, he said his proudest moment was when the Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus opened its doors in 2002.
“It’s a big plus for Pinckneyville to have a facility such as that three miles from town,” he said. “How many of these kids wouldn’t be going to college if Rend Lake wasn’t here in our community? I wouldn’t have what I have, or been able to do what I have, if it wasn’t for my education.”
Pinckneyville Community High School Superintendent Jon Green said, “The big advantage for our kids ... it will save our parents money and it will save our kids money, based on travel. ... Now that there will be labs in place, it will expand what they are able to learn, not just for those taking dual credit, but also for postsecondary kids and adults from the Pinckneyville area, and from the area to our west, who would prefer driving to Pinckneyville over driving to Ina.”
Green added that the expansion is a great opportunity for residents of Pinckneyville to broaden their educational aspirations, especially in an evolving workforce where now “the bachelor’s degree [of yesterday] is equivalent to a high school diploma [today] and a master’s degree is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
“Our community has to start using those resources to gain better education. Folks have got to start taking education very seriously.”