It was back to school today for college students in Carbon County…and the school they went to isn’t your typical college campus.
At the end of the year Lehigh Carbon Community College closed its campus in Nesquehoning and today, it opened its new satellite branch in a nearby high school.
“Where am I going? Ha Ha, just trying to find my way around,” Rebecca Cooper said.
The community college spent the past 14 years in a strip mall in Nesquehoning.
Now, the satellite campus has a new home inside part of the Jim Thorpe Area High School.
“I like it a lot. It’s a lot more open and there’s a lot more windows and it’s nice. I like it a lot and it’s small,” Stephanie Mau said.
Some might think having college classes inside of a high school might be a little awkward.
But some students we talked with said it’s not that bad after being here for the first day.
Some say they like the campus better than the old site in Nesquehoning.
“Compared to where we were coming from it was close to business places. It was like it was in a mall. So this is more conducive to learning so to speak,” Shaun Sinclair said.
Signs are posted in the school preventing high school and college students from going down the wrong hallways.
There is also security guards making sure there are no problems.
The community college is thrilled to be in a new building.
“I think when you know it’s the right thing to do, then you find the funding and you find the resources to make it happen,” Jeanne Miller, director of Lehigh Carbon Community College in Carbon County said.
The new campus has a student lounge, faculty room, computer labs and six classrooms.
When the high school isn’t in session, the college can use some of the science labs and additional classrooms.
School officials hope the college will grow from a few hundreds students to potentially a few thousand.
“Word gets around, what the site is like and the potential here. I think we will definitely increase our numbers,” Miller said.
Lehigh Carbon Community College in Jim Thorpe plans to have an open house event in a few weeks.