50 Years in the Making: Sweet Home Center

Since 1971, LBCC has offered community education classes in Sweet Home and surrounding areas. Originally named the Santiam Center, the center shared an office with the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce at 1240 10th Avenue. Mona Waibel served as director.

Approximately 275 students took classes that first year, which included high school equivalency classes, art, business education, welding and writing classes. Most classes were held in local churches during the day and at Sweet Home High School in the evening.

As demand for community education grew, LBCC and the Chamber continued their partnership by leasing a building at 1314 Long Street. The new space included a classroom, storage, restrooms and offices for LBCC and Chamber use.

An open house was held in 1975. In 1985, the college expanded its reach to include classes in Brownsville and Central Linn. Classes were held at the Brownsville Recreation Center, Brownsville Library and City Hall, and at Central Linn High School.

The Sweet Home Chamber moved to another location, and LBCC took over the lease on the building. The move provided an additional classroom for center use.

In 2003, demand again exceeded space and construction soon began on a new 5,000-square-foot East Linn Sweet Home Center, built adjacent to Sweet Home High School at 1661 Long Street. The $500,000 project was funded through a $19.1 million bond.

LBCC’s new Sweet Home Center was formally dedicated September 20, 2004. The new center included office space, a GED classroom, a testing center, an art room, a computer lab and access to classrooms in Sweet Home High School.

Today, approximately 1,700 students take at least one class at the LBCC Sweet Home and Lebanon Centers each year.


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