Littleton, NH Learning Center
Littleton, NH Learning Center
NH Technical College and College for Lifelong Learning resource center and welcome area (above & below).
A typical classroom at the Learning Center.
NH Technical College uses the facility as well.
The Public Safety Academy holds classes in the Littleton Area Learning Center. This is tied directly to the NH Police Academy, the NH Fire Academy and the Department of Transportation in Concord.
Littleton, NH 03561
Your One Stop for Career and Educational Services:
Colleges, Health, Safety and Employment Resources for Littleton Area residents. You're never too old to learn!
How It all Began:
In April, 1998, Littleton educational leaders approached local community activists with a request for assistance in establishing a central teaching facility - a "campus" to serve the Littleton area.
The Directors of the Littleton Industrial Development Corporation (LIDC) had often discussed the need to expand education opportunities for an every increasing and technologically oriented employee force in our region, as well as the need to upgrade the skills of the unemployed. Local industries told LIDC that higher paying jobs and production processes could be brought to the Littleton area if the work force skill level was enhanced.
Former Governor Walter Peterson, then Interim Commissioner of the NH Community Technical College System (NHCTCS) and then current Trustee of the University of New Hampshire, visited Littleton at the invitation of LIDC. The meeting included Victor Montana, Dean of CLL, other North Country CLL and NHCTCS representatives, town officials, officers of many banks and local businesses as well as Andrew Peloquin, manager of the local Employment Security Office (DES). Governor Peterson laid out the history of the two colleges, the political realities of state funding possibilities and the definitive need for an extensive "needs assessment" to substantiate such an education facility.
Energized by the meeting, subcommittees were formed and went to work. One of the most important became the Needs Assessment Committee, chaired by Barney Keenan, the CLL Regional Director, ably assisted by both CLL and NHCTCS personnel and other community participants. They established "focus groups" for various business interest such as finance, industry, education, insurance, real estate, etc.
In September 1998, LIDC invited Robert Nichols, Executive Director of the NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) to explain the inner workings and concepts of his organization to thirty area business and government leaders.
In January, 1997, LIDC and the community became aware of the Littleton Coin Company's (LCC) desire to build a new facility in the Industrial Park. In 1998, LIDC land was sold to the LCC, a beautiful 64,000 square foot building was completed and the transfer was completed in March 1999. Their former 27,000 square foot "home" became available.
The project was beginning to "catch fire." LIDC is a 100% volunteer organization- there are no employees. The project needed grant writing expertise and paid staff experienced in this type of education facility development. LIDC, in November, 1998, contacted Paul Denton, president of the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) headquartered in St. Johnsbury, and doing business in the Northeast Kingdom, VT, all of Coos, Grafton and Carroll Counties, NH. NCIC had recently provided an updated education facility in Conway, utilized by CLL, which was experiencing a 300% increase in student enrollments.
LIDC Directors Paul McGoldrick and Brien Ward met with State Senator Fred King and Councilor Raymond Burton. Both individuals indicated their strong support. Subsequently, Paul McGoldrick and Paul Denton, aided by Brien Ward, King Covey and Preston Gilbert made 18 presentations and were rewarded with 17 donations which exceeded the $868,750 tax credit award - which assured $695,000 for the project (the CDFA retains 20% to maintain their staff, offices and other expenses).
The individual donations range from $3,000 to $200,000. The seventeen donors are: Littleton Coin Company, Mt. Washington Hotel, Inc., Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, New England Electric Wire Co., Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., Connecticut River Bank, Laconia Savings Bank, Berlin City Bank, Connors Footwear-White Mountain, Garnet Hill, Inc., First Colebrook Bank, Siwooganock Bank, Tender Corporation, Eastgate Motor Inn, Inc., Lancaster National Bank, Passumpsic Bank, and Paul J. McGoldrick, MBA, CLU, ChFC. A separate "Benefactors Fund" has been established to accept additional financial support from individual donors, foundations and other sources of support. The first donation to this fund is from Peabody and Smith Realty, Inc. who represented the seller in the real estate sale. The donors will receive permanent recognition at the main entrance to the facility.
Meanwhile, Paul Denton (NCIC) was hard at work compiling the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application which would ultimately exceed 600 pages. He also designed a "Business Job Creation Worksheet" which was to become the backbone of the CDBG application. LIDC Directors became responsible for contacting specific area employers to seek their analysis and rapid completion of their "job retention and job creation" estimates relative to the existence of the proposed Littleton Area Learning Center - six employers felt the education facility would retain and/or create 280 such jobs - the majority benefiting low and moderate income employees (only 50 were required by the CDBG rules). Ultimately, two additional factors about these six employers lead to very high rankings on the CDBG application. First, each provided paid tuition for employee continuing education and each provided a broad list of employee fringe benefits, such as group life insurance, family medical insurance, short and long term disability coverage, pension and 401(k) profit sharing plans.
A current appraisal was completed for the LIDC-NCIC former Coin Company location and a purchase/sale agreement signed at a favorable purchase price. EH Danson Associates of St. Johnsbury was retained to provide architectural and engineering services. Basic articles of agreement were established for the LIDC-NCIC relationship and contacts with prospective tenants continued.
In February, 2000, Richard M. Flynn, Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety, wrote to US Senator Judd Gregg, expressing his enthusiastic support for the proposed Littleton Area Learning Center. Specifically, he requested that Senator Gregg support a special federal appropriation for $1,500,000 to establish interactive distance learning classrooms and on-site training facilities in the Littleton Area Learning Center tied directly to the NH Police Academy, the NH Fire Academy and the Department of Transportation in Concord. Leon S. Kenison, Commissioner of the NH Department of Transportation and State Fire Marshal Donald P. Bliss enthusiastically joined this effort to efficiently provide continuing education to all state and municipal employees in the North Country. This will result in considerable cost savings to local government, a reduction in travel time for similar training in Concord and provide a greater variety of training opportunities for police, fire, emergency medical services and state, county and local employees of every service provided to our citizens. The addition of this exciting capability could result in the Littleton Area Learning Center becoming a national demonstration project for the effective and efficient delivery of such training programs to a rural area.
In February, 2000, the Grafton County Commissioners, Michael Cryans (Hanover), Raymond Burton (Woodsville) and Steve Panagoulis (Plymouth) unanimously formally approved the CDBG $1,000,000 grant application for the Littleton Area Learning Center. The huge document was finalized with total cost estimates and delivered to the Office of State Planning (OSP) in April, 2000.
Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) solicitations continued throughout May and Brian Ward and Paul McGoldrick appeared before the Littleton Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) to request a special exception for a school at the Union Street location - it was approved unanimously.
LIDC has been represented for many years by Timothy Vaughan,
Esq, partner in the law firm of Samaha and Vaughan (now known as
Samaha-Russell,(PA)). Since the initiation
of the LIDC effort in April, 1998, this law firm has provided unlimited
individual legal assistance, coordinated consultation with Concord
legal experts and has done so at no charge - this work is their
financial and community contribution to this educational facility
project. LIDC/NCIC extends our deep appreciation.
In June, 2000, the Office of State Planning and Governor and Council approved the $1,000,000 CDBG grant to Grafton County. The Funds were directed by the Grafton County Commissioners to the purchase of the former Littleton Coin Company Building.
THE "DREAM" HAD BECOME A REALITY!!
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