Bordered by Lake Tahoe on the north, the state of Nevada on the east, and the Sierra Nevada mountains on the south and west, the small alpine town of South Lake Tahoe expressed an interest in having a community college as early as 1964.
On March 5, 1974 voters approved the formation of a community college district by 66 percent of the vote and the first Board of Trustees was elected. Dr. James Duke was hired by the board in September 1974 as the college's first president.
LTCC opened its doors for the first classes on Sept. 18, 1975, in a "campus" located in a converted motel on U.S. Highway 50.
California residents who were full-time students paid no tuition, and a wide range of classes were offered. Subjects included traditional academics such as English, math, and history, and classes in the arts like photography, art, and drama. Vocational education classes were also offered with subject areas including, business, real estate and secretarial science.
In 1975, a total of 119 classes were offered and enrollment was 1,407 students. The graduating class of 1976 consisted of 11 students.
Building a Campus
The West Campus was opened in the fall of 1982. It provided more usable space for the library and three additional classrooms. An expanded art lab and an intimate "Collegiate Theatre" were also included in the new facility. This allowed for more space in the original campus site on U.S. Highway 50.
On July 8, 1986, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on the permanent campus site and construction began on the first phase of the college master plan.
The college moved into its present location in October 1988.
Passing the Baton
The college's fourth president, Dr. Kindred Murillo, was hired in July 2011. A California Community College graduate herself, Murillo was the vice chancellor of administrative services at Contra Costa Community College District before coming to LTCC
The Campus Grows
Also during the 1990s Phase II North was completed in stages. The Technology Wing was dedicated on Jan. 2, 1996, and the College Theatre opened in March 1996. In June 2005 the Theatre name was changed to the "Duke Theatre" in recognition of the founding president Dr. James Duke.
With everything but physical education located on the main campus, the Board of Trustees decided to lease four moveable classrooms. These "Garden Classrooms" were in place for the fall quarter of 1996, bringing the entire college to one location for the first time.
The 21st century brought a new era of building to LTCC. In 2002, the Physical Education building and Student Center opened. The 26,000 square foot Physical Education building includes a gymnasium, fitness education center, dance studio, and locker rooms. The culinary arts program moved into its own teaching kitchen in the 10,000 square foot Student Center.
In 2006, the campus opened a new 27,000 square foot library and the Haldan Art Gallery.