The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced 28 recipients for loans and grants through its Rural Development programs, and Ozarks Technical Community College will be the ultimate recipient of $500,000 for expansion at the OTC Lebanon Center. The funds will be presented to the Laclede Electric Cooperative, the organization that applied for the loan, and then passed on to OTC.
The funds, provided through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, are designed to assist with economic growth and development in rural communities across the country. Ozarks Technical Community College will use its $500,000 loan to add six general education classrooms, one of which can be used as a science laboratory, to Casey Hall at the OTC Lebanon Center. This expansion will help to serve the anticipated enrollment increases over the next five years.
The OTC Lebanon Center is designed to serve both as a training facility for students and existing industry, and as a support system for area business, helping to provide economic benefits and employment opportunities to the residents of Laclede and surrounding counties. Located just off Interstate 44 on Highway MM, classes began in the Center’s new facilities in the fall of 2011. The first of the two buildings to open, Casey Hall, is named after Reuben and Mary Lou Casey of San Clemente, Calif., who donated the two buildings and more than 13 acres of land to the College. Casey Hall is home to 13 classrooms, a student lounge and student services department. A branch of the OTC Bookstore, along with a Center for Workforce Development office, and some technical education programs, will be located in the building that is located east of Casey Hall.
About USDA Rural Development Programs
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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