July 27, 2020

Photo: Recent Automotive Technologies graduate Jayson Lumbra poses with one of the cars he worked on in the Lakes Region Community College’s state-of-the-art shop. Students return to campus August 31th with a hybrid academic schedule in more than 40 programs for people who want to upskill, retool, change professions, or eventually transfer credits for a 4-year degree.

[LACONIA, NH] – Lakes Region Community College reopened its doors last week, taking the first step into the final phase of a carefully crafted reopening plan.

Students, staff and members of the public may schedule appointments and tours of the hilltop campus, where social distancing and sanitation protocols are in force.

Fall semester classes start August 31 and will run in a hybrid model where students attend socially-distanced in-person classes one week and attend class remotely the next. Students will benefit from onsite instruction and hands-on practice while also benefiting from limited exposure to large groups. The school’s faculty have also been working on innovative strategies that allow an easy pivot if trends change and the population is asked to stay at home again in coming months.

Larissa Baia, president of Lakes Region Community College, gave high praise to the Reopening Task Force comprised of administration, faculty and staff. “Based on the success of the well-planned phases 1 and 2 of reopening” where students and staff came on campus on staggered schedules that promoted social distancing and testing of sanitation and traffic flow protocols, she said, “LRCC is prepared to start our fall schedule with new procedures in place.”

The full plan can be found at https://www.lrcc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Fall-Reopening.pdf

Among protocols practiced will be the requirement of face coverings when in public spaces, daily screening for all individuals who enter campus, and shortened class times. Each room on campus has been measured and its maximum occupancy determined in light of guidelines put out by the Centers of Disease Control. In some cases, learning spaces have been reorganized to better support social distancing. The institution’s ventilation systems have been assessed and course schedules adjusted to allow healthy air exchange between group meetings. Access to some public spaces, such as computer labs and the Bennett Library, will be limited.

Lakes Region Community College is one of only two New Hampshire community colleges that offers housing, and its two- and three- bedroom apartments will be open in fall, with single, rather than double occupancy in each bedroom. Several apartments will be left vacant to provide quarantine housing if it becomes necessary.

“Our number one priority,” says Baia, “is the safety of our students, faculty and staff, and the community of which we are a part. With that in mind, the school is ready to respond to changing conditions. Faculty members have been working through the spring and summer to ensure continuity of instruction no matter how circumstances evolve. No matter what, students can be assured that every effort is being made to retain the personal support and services they’ve come to expect from Lakes Region Community College.”

Classes at Lakes Region Community College start Monday, August 31, and include certificate and Associate degree programs in the Liberal Arts, Automotive and Marine Technologies, Electrical, Health, Business, Culinary, and Pastry Arts, Nursing, Fire Technologies, Manufacturing, Computer Technology, Hotel/Restaurant Management and the Arts.

Located minutes off Route 93 in Laconia, Lakes Region Community College offers more than 40 educational programs, as well as workforce training for business and industry. Transfer agreements with regional four-year colleges allow students to receive their Associate’s degree at an affordable community college, and earn a Bachelor’s at a four-year school. Lakes Region Community College offers on campus housing and is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire. To learn more, visit www.lrcc.edu  or join an online Open House at www.lrcc.edu/virtual.