A new Delgado Community College campus opened today in New Orleans’s Desire neighborhood. The Sidney Collier campus will initially focus on courses in cosmetology, barbering, H-VAC, electrical work and nursing.
The new building is on the former site of a popular technical college that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. It gives access to courses geared towards industries that are thriving locally to people living in the Eastern part of the city.
Thomas Lovince is the executive dean of the new Delgado campus.
The ArtWorks building near Lee Circle is up for sale once again. The $25 million, 93,000-square-foot building was built as a creative space for artists, but closed its doors 2 years ago after having financial trouble. Now, two groups are bidding to purchase the space.
About 10 percent of Delgado Community College's 465 employees will be laid off at the end of next month.
Chancellor Monty Sullivan said Tuesday the layoffs are a consequence of the school's $13 million deficit and declining enrollment. Sullivan says no teachers will lose their jobs in this action.
College spokeswoman Carol Gniady tells The Times-Picayune the 46 people who will lose their jobs are classified and unclassified employees, categories that include secretaries, clerks, bookkeepers and maintenance personnel.
After six years of post-Katrina growth, Delgado Community College reported an 11.4 percent drop in the number of full-time students who registered for the fall semester.
Even with this decline from its all-time-high total of 20,452 students last fall, Delgado remains the most populous local institution of higher education, with 18,115 students at eight locations around the New Orleans area.
Delgado spokesman Tony Cook tells The Times-Picayune that at least some of Delgado's decline is the result of a policy change.
The Navy has given Delgado Community College a $10 million grant to help enhance its advanced manufacturing programs at the Avondale shipyard in suburban New Orleans.
Avondale, owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries, is scheduled to close in 2013 after two Navy ships currently under construction there are launched. But officials say the skills being taught are applicable not only to shipbuilding but to other industries, too.
Delgado Chancellor Monty Sullivan says the investment will have a major effect on the economic future of New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast.