Heading down Washington Street in downtown Laredo toward Laredo College’s original campus takes you back in time to Laredo’s early days. Nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande, the 200-acre site traces its history back to 1849, when Camp Crawford was established to protect Laredo’s frontier. It was later renamed Fort McIntosh, in honor of war hero Lieutenant Colonel James McIntosh. Laredo Community College South Campus, located at 5500 South Zapata Highway (US 83), was established to extend the college’s mission to the growing residential area of South Laredo. More than 80 percent of voters approved a $50 million bond issue to construct the campus, which was completed in the Spring of 2004. The 60-acre campus contains seven buildings and a new recreation complex.
Since 1947, the old fort has been home to the city’s oldest institute of higher education.
At the end of World War II, the Laredo Independent School District created Laredo Junior College in 1947 on the site of historic Fort McIntosh to prepare returning soldiers for America’s new workforce. With 13 junior college sophomores achieving their associate in arts diplomas, that first year was the beginning of a long tradition of higher education in Laredo.
Today, the college is a two-campus district serving the diverse needs of a growing community. The downtown Fort McIntosh Campus maintains its historic origins, while history begins anew at our South Campus in South Laredo, with contemporary architecture and the latest technology, which opened in the spring of 2004. Our two campuses serve more than 10,000 students each semester through a variety of affordable academic programs, technical and vocational programs, non-credit community interest courses, and adult education courses that help area adults obtain English skills, job skills or a General Educational Development diploma.
Both campuses serve a three-county area composed of Webb, Jim Hogg and Zapata counties.