|Future site of LBCC ATT Center in|
The LBCC Advanced Transportation Technology Center, which could be fully operational as soon as late 2013, will be the only major training facility in alternative fuel technology between Seattle and San Francisco. Plans also call for fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles, such as compressed natural gas, that could support local conversion of trucking and transportation fleets to take advantage of huge fuel-cost savings.
LBCC agreed to a purchase the site, the former home of Pace Manufacturing, for $1.825 million from The Private Bank, Chicago, Ill. The site includes 11 acres and a 35,000 square foot industrial building.
So far, funding to support the center has come from a $1.4 million commitment from the Lebanon Urban Renewal District, $100,000 from the Lebanon Industrial Development Council, and $800,000 allocated from the state during the last legislative session. The total cost of developing and equipping the facility is estimated at $6.85 million.
“The support of our partners, both in the public and private sectors, has been extraordinary,” said LBCC President Greg Hamann.
Now that an agreement is complete on a site for the center, partnerships and support from industry and private individuals interested in supporting the center can be aggressively pursued.
“I’m confident that we will have exciting new private and industry partnerships to announce in the coming months,” Hamann said.
By purchasing an already developed site with an existing building, the college is saving an estimated $2 million compared to purchasing and developing a vacant site.
"This center has the potential of positioning our area as a center for the coming wave of alternative fuel vehicles," said Hamann. “The technology is already developed, refined, and in many cases, currently in use in other parts of the country and world. What’s missing locally is the people who can repair and maintain these vehicles and the places to fuel them. This center will fill that void in our area.”
For example, the fuel cost for compressed natural gas (CNG) is as much as $2 a gallon less than the fuel cost for diesel. The cost of converting a diesel truck to CNG can be recovered in as little as six months, leading to significant operational savings for years.
The Advanced Transportation Technology Center will train students to the highest industry standards to meet the workforce needs for technicians to install, maintain, and repair both traditional and new propulsion systems. The college plans to offer:
• Training that involves applications, development and adoption of alternative energy in biofuels, electric vehicles, compressed national gas (CNG), propane, hydrogen, hybrid, and new technologies;
• Industry specific, short-term training and continuing professional education, at times and in a manner that is convenient for industries;
• Contracted training courses for professionals in the automotive/diesel repair and emergency responders to addressing safety issues arising from damage, removal, and installation of critical systems in alternative fuel vehicles;
• Programs and coursework focused on cutting-edge technologies in transportation at all levels, focusing on sustainable technologies;
• Training for first-responders to enable them to respond safely to incidents involving alternative fuel vehicles.
• Work with transportation industries to develop and provide training necessary for trucking, rail and distribution shipping needs.