OTC administrators and trustees, local community partners and state legislators celebrated the grand opening of the OTC Republic Center today, August 10. The new 30,000-square-foot facility is located on a 7.69-acre property near the west side of the city. The land was donated to OTC in 2015 by the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families.
“It was an easy decision for the family to donate land to OTC,” said Larry Lipscomb, family representative. “The college is vital to the economic growth of southwest Missouri, and the new Republic center will play a major role in educating the next generation of workers.”
In addition to representatives from the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families, state Sen. Lincoln Hough attended the grand opening celebration. OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon thanked those present for their continued support of the college.
“The OTC Republic Center stands as a result of the support we’ve received from our donors and statewide elected officials,” Higdon said. “Now, our life-changing educational programs are even more accessible to our students living to the west of Springfield.”
The OTC Republic Center will open for the fall 2020 semester beginning Aug. 24. The state-of-the-art facility features eight classrooms, computer and science labs, a student common area, testing center and writing area. Students will have the opportunity to pursue a range of associate degrees in general education (transfer degree), English, social work, criminal justice, behavioral science, and biological clinical science – the prerequisite for many of OTC’s medical programs.
More than 100 students have already registered to attend classes in Republic this fall. Eventually, the facility could grow to serve 800-1200 students.
Besides the generous $1 million land donation from the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families, the $7.3 million OTC Republic Center had many funding sources, including the following:
- $1.25 million from the State of Missouri
- $250,000 from the Sunderland Foundation
- $2.3 million interest-free loan from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program via Webster County Electric
The Republic center is one of several capital projects led by the college as a result of the tax levies passed in April 2018. In the fall of 2019, the college opened an agriculture center at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus. Construction on OTC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing will begin this fall.
A comprehensive list of OTC’s projects and initiatives can be viewed online at otc.edu/progress. The OTC Republic Center fulfills strategic initiative two, goal two, which is outlined in OTC’s latest Strategic Plan: Your Dreams, Our Plan – OTC 2025.