OTC set to expand Table Rock campus, add programs – Springfield News

Ozarks Technical Community College plans to expand its Table Rock campus and offer new programs, including HVAC.

Details, including additional programs, will be released Nov. 1.

The OTC Board of Trustees unanimously agreed Monday to enter a pact with the city of Hollister for 5.5 acres and two buildings along Missouri 165, north of the existing 9-acre campus.

OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said the move will help meet the demand for more technical training programs in Taney County. The work is expected to start in the summer with the programs opening at the start of the 2018-19 year.

“This is really all about promises made, promises kept,” he said. “Hollister came to us several years ago and wanted us to come into the district and we did. We brought them in. We promised to build a campus, which we did.”

The Table Rock campus, which primarily serves Hollister and Branson, opened its doors four years ago and offers general education courses and allied health programs in the four-story Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, which is visible to motorists along U.S. 65.

Higdon said the deal supported by Hollister city officials, including Mayor David Tate, will give OTC the space required to expand.

“This will allow us to do those technical programs,” he said.

The property is currently home to the city’s public works offices, police department and a small park and overlook.

Rob Rector, vice chancellor for administrative services, said the college plans to access the property in stages.

The first step will be to lease the 10,500-square-foot office building and warehouse, that currently houses public works offices, for up to five years. The annual lease amount has not yet been released.

“That is where we are proposing to begin some new technical programs,” he said.

Rector said OTC hopes to buy the entire property, including the 9,000-square-foot police station, at the end of the five-year period. The appraised value is just under $1.1 million.

He said the time allows the college to develop its programs and enrollment while the city searches for a “central campus” elsewhere to house its city and police offices.

“This really does work well for both of us,” he said. “And this is a terrific opportunity to buy land that is adjacent to our existing property.”

Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss said city officials felt strongly that figuring out a way to expand the college’s Table Rock campus will benefit the community and grow the workforce.

“OTC has been a good partner for us,” he said.

Ziegenfuss acknowledged the location of the property makes it “fair significant real estate” and city officials agreed they were in a position to help OTC so it could grow in its current location.

“It should be a win-win for the city of Hollister and OTC in the short term and for the entire region, in terms of education and training, over time,” he said.

Higdon said the college is in the process of finalizing partnerships and determining the first three or four technical training programs to be offered.

He said interest has been high in HVAC, electrical, construction, welding, small engine repair, computer information system and others. 

“HVAC is one of the most obvious but after that I am not sure,” he said. “Every time I meet with anyone from Taney County, the first thing they mention is HVAC.”

Cliff Davis, president of OTC’s Table Rock campus, said the agreement with Hollister reflects good planning.

He said more than 500 students are enrolled this fall and the college is outgrowing its existing space.

“One of the biggest mistakes institutions of higher education make is they plan for tomorrow and not five, 10 or 20 years down the road,” he said.

Table Rock campus

The OTC Table Rock campus includes general education classrooms and computer, science and nursing labs. It also features a range of amenities including a student services office, cashier and testing services, tutoring center and a student commons and study area.

The campus offers a range of courses, including adult education and literacy courses, as well as the following degree programs:

  • Associate of arts degree, designed for students who want to transfer to a four-year program
  • Associate of arts in teaching degree
  • Associate of science in nursing degree
  • Associate of science degrees in the following areas: biological clinical science, biology, and chemistry.
  • Practical nursing certificate

 

Want to go?

Ozarks Technical Community College will unveil details of the plan to expand the Table Rock campus and add specific programs at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at campus at U.S. 65 and Missouri 165 in Hollister.