In the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, you’ll find Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) – the region’s only two-year institution characterized by a dedication to innovation, accountability and educational excellence. With a student body totaling approximately 1,200, the college attracts students from all over New England for its associate degree programs in fields including fire science, marine technology and automotive technologies.
LRCC’s automotive technology programs are enjoying a new state-of-the-art building with 17 bays, which is drawing praise from potential students, families and dealerships in the region. In addition, LRCC will welcome its first class of Toyota T-TEN students this fall, joining the existing classes of General Motors ASEP and auto tech students.
Over the years LRCC recognized a need among its student population for campus-based housing. Responding to that need and envisioning how housing could positively impact enrollment growth, the college began considering opportunities to provide students a residential experience. When approached by an outside developer with an interest to build apartment-style housing abutting the campus, the college realized student housing could become a reality. The apartment units proposed were not only convenient for LRCC students, but also reflected the standards contemporary college students have come to expect.
When construction began in 2015, the college had already begun a search for a partner to provide high-quality furnishings for the new units. Lakes Region Community College turned to CORT, a company with a reputation for providing high-end, reliable products at a good value and a dedication to finding the right solution for each unique project.
After initial discussions with LRCC – in which both parties discussed the vision of the project, budget and logistics for timing and execution – CORT developed a proposal outlining all the project details. After reviewing, LRCC determined that rental furniture was the best option for their project – saving money and providing more flexibility in how they could design their units. More specifically, furniture rental allows a simple solution for exchanging furniture pieces if necessary, which eliminates the need for allocating storage space to excess furniture inventory.
When construction concluded in late 2015, CORT began assembling their furniture packages for the project. Working directly with Lakes Region Community College, the CORT team put together a demo to present to the Student Senate, President of Lakes Region Community College Dr. Scott J. Kalicki and staff. This involved staging an apartment unit to get immediate feedback, especially from students who would ultimately be living in these units. CORT took the feedback and recommendations of the committee to finalize their plan for furnishing the spaces.
Phase one of the implementation part of the project began in January 2016, with CORT completing 16 apartment units with state-of-the-art bedroom, dining and living room furniture, as well as furnishings in two common areas in the apartment complex. This was followed by phases two and three in April and August of the same year, in which CORT installed furniture in additional apartments. In total, CORT added 106 beds to the apartment complex in 2016. Also, the staged room used in the planning phase of the project is being used today as a model for parents and students taking a tour of the complex of the student residences.
The response from Lakes Region Community College has been extremely positive. Staff and students alike have praised the quality and durability of the products, as well CORT’s professionalism and willingness to meet the specific needs of the college as they took on this new project.
“CORT has been a great partner for Lakes Region as we embarked on this new adventure of opening our student apartments,” notes Dr. Larissa R. Baía, vice president of student services and enrollment management.
Lakes Region Community College’s decision to rent furniture though CORT ultimately saved time and resources that would not have been possible had they purchased furniture for the units. Furniture rental also gave LRCC the capability to exchange furniture pieces – when and if it is ever necessary – which provides the college with more flexibility if their style and design needs ever change.
Lakes Region Community College prides itself on the overall value it provides its students, making CORT’s innovative rental solutions a perfect fit for its new housing venture. By working with CORT, academic institutions like LRCC can provide quality furnishing options to their students as they prepare for their futures and pursue a degree.
Lakes Region Community College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire that serves over 1,200 students annually. LRCC offers 28 associate degree programs including Nursing, Fire Technology, Business, Media Arts, Culinary Arts, Automotive, and Marine Technology, as well as over 38 short-term certificate programs. In addition, LRCC provides a strong background in Liberal Arts for students who choose to do their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university for a baccalaureate degree. LRCC is one of the seven member colleges of the Community College System of New Hampshire.