Good crowd turns out for Del Rio groundbreaking

Email this article 02/20/2013

drshovelsIt's official – ground has been broken for the new construction project on the SWTJC campus in Del Rio. School officials hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 15 for the $6.7 million project. PHOTO GALLERY

SWTJC President Dr. Ismael Sosa, Jr., welcomed guests to the ceremony and reflected on the college's history in Del Rio.

"I remember selling books at Laughlin Air Force Base where we first held classes in Del Rio back in the late 1960s," Sosa said. "Del Rio has been good to our institution and these new buildings testify to our continued commitment to this community and all of Val Verde County."

President Sosa introduced members of the SWTJC Foundation, Inc., board who were in attendance including board president Rodolfo R. Flores, vice president Dr. Harry O. Watkins, board secretary Dr. Antonio H. Rivera, and board members Victor Lopez and Anita Shackelford. Dr. Sosa also thanked the Charles and Polly Chandler foundations for their recent gift to the college of nearly $900,000.

The project will include a new 32,615 square-foot academic building and a new 5,915 square-foot administration building. The administration building will be named the Charles and Polly Chandler Student Services Building.

Former Del Rio Mayor Dora Alcala, the current president of the Southwest Texas Junior College Friends and Alumni Network, shared several stories about the Chandlers, who made their home in Del Rio for 45 years.

"Chuck Chandler and his wife, Polly, were great believers in the value of education," Alcala said. "When I was a young Hispanic woman trying to start a career with the Air Force, Chuck encouraged me to pursue my college education and be more than a secretary. He was my mentor and his support over the years meant the world to me. I am very honored to be here today to break ground on this project which includes a building that will be named in Chuck and Polly's honor."

Martin Thomas of Dallas, a nephew of the late Charles "Chuck" Chandler, also spoke at the ceremony, acknowledging the Chandler's work ethic.

"Chuck and Polly always worked hard and I hope that this new building named in their honor will be an inspiration to future members of this community to leave something behind that will benefit others," Thomas said.

SWTJC President-Elect Dr. Hector Gonzales, was the last of the day's speakers. "I thank you all for coming today and invite you to join us a little over a year from now when we will be back for the dedication and grand opening of these two new buildings," Gonzales said.

The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014.

President's Welcome

Gonzales

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