Trinidad State plans new facility thanks to $1 million donation from Outcalt Foundation

From left Interim Trinidad State President Dr. Kerry Hart, Outcalt Foundation members Karla Shriver and Carolyn Kawanabe and departing Trinidad State President Dr. Carmen Simone continue planning a new San Luis Valley skilled trades center after a $1 million dollar donation. /Courtesy photo

ALAMOSA – The Ralph Outcalt Foundation has awarded Trinidad State $1 million dollars to be used for a skilled trades center somewhere outside Alamosa in the San Luis Valley. 

The money comes with the stipulation it must be spent on an existing building, or possibly land on which to construct a building, where Trinidad State could teach agriculture, welding, machining and diesel mechanics.  Other courses might also be taught there. The Outcalt Foundation will work with Trinidad State to identify that land or building.   

A $500,000 check was presented to departing Trinidad State President Dr. Carmen Simone and Interim President Dr. Kerry Hart on Thursday, December 20, by Outcalt Foundation members Karla Shriver and Carolyn Kawanabe. A year ago the Outcalt Foundation had presented the first check to Trinidad State, also for $500,000.

“With a service area that is as large as the State of Connecticut it makes sense to spread out our educational offerings when possible,” said Trinidad State President Dr. Carmen Simone. “Our explorations in this area always seem to lead us to the west of Alamosa. A facility in Rio Grande County makes sense to us, so we’re excited to continue on this journey with the Outcalt Foundation as partners.”

Originally Trinidad State had a goal of opening this facility for use no later than January of 2020. “Dr. Simone has looked at several sites over the last year,” said Hart. “We continue to explore options as we strategize how this new facility will come together. It’s an exciting time for Trinidad State and for the Valley.”

Ralph Outcalt was a successful San Luis Valley businessman and philanthropist who believed the Valley is an extraordinary place. He was committed to hope, compassion and prosperity for the Valley.  The foundation supports area youth through scholarships, grants and community initiatives.