LSCO to Transform Former First Baptist Church to Student Success Center

in Schools

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week at the former First Baptist Church, marking the commencement of an ambitious project spearheaded by the Stark Foundation and Lamar State College Orange.

The historic former First Baptist Church of Orange will undergo renovation to become LSCO’s Student Success Center, a comprehensive hub designed to streamline the enrollment process and support students through their educational journey at LSCO. The welcome center will house the departments of Student Services, Financial Aid, Admissions, Recruiting, and Advising. This exciting project is anticipated to complete renovations in the Fall of 2024.

The First Baptist Church of Orange was built in 1913 and has sustained heavy damages after several hurricanes. In 2021, the building was gifted to LSCO by the Stark Foundation. LSCO’s Legislative Appropriations Request of over $6 million was granted by the State Legislature, providing funding to restore the facility and shaping the future of the college. Architects have approached the project with utmost care to preserve the building’s historical prominence by retaining elements such as the stained glass windows and the building’s landmark exterior.

Among those helping LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson break ground were Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dade Phelan, LSCO’s Provost & Executive Vice President Dr. Wendy Elmore, Dean of Student Services Brian Hull, LSCO’s Vice President for Finance & Operations Mary Wickland, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Stark Foundation Tad McKee, Chief Executive Officer of G&G Enterprises Natasha Garrett, and more members of the community.

Once completed by the end of 2024, this facility will serve as a hub for prospective students, offering them guidance and support from dedicated faculty and staff to navigate their academic journey effectively.

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