The OTC Board of Trustees approved nearly $4 million in construction projects at its Monday, Feb. 13 meeting. The plans will increase the college's ability to educate nurses, surgical technologists and plumbers. Grant funding will cover nearly three-quarters of the cost.
The Ozarks Technical Community College Board of Trustees approved funding for two major building projects for the Springfield campus at its monthly meeting on Monday, February 13. The two facilities will enhance the college’s ability to train much-needed professionals in healthcare and plumbing. Grant funding will pay for more than 70% of the cost of both projects.
Health Sciences Upgrades
The Board approved more than $1.54 million to create a new practical nursing lab and to expand and enhance the college’s surgical technology program inside Lincoln Hall.
A $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide most of the project’s funding. The HRSA grant is congressionally directed funding, which former U.S. Senator Roy Blunt secured for the college before his retirement in 2022.
The new practical nursing lab will allow OTC to graduate 24 additional nurses annually. According to the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA), southwest Missouri has more than 100 practical nursing vacancies yearly.
The surgical technology changes will double the size of the program’s laboratory facilities and increase its student capacity by 30%. Surgical technologists assist physicians in the operating room, and MHA states that the region has 40 vacancies annually.
The OTC Board of Trustees approved an additional $429,000 to remodel Lincoln Hall’s interior entrance with new flooring, paint, lighting and upgrades to the corridor.
The college will not make changes to the historic building’s exterior.
A Place for Plumbing
OTC Trustees also approved nearly $1.8 million to construct a classroom, laboratory and offices for the new plumbing program, which will debut in 2024.
A $1.3 million grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development will provide most of the funding.
The plumbing program will be located on the southeast corner of the Industry Transportation Technology Center.
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center projects plumbing as one of the Ozark region’s fastest-growing professions.
The college plans to begin work on both projects this spring.