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OTC Seeks Financing for Capital Improvement Projects

OTC Fountain

Ozarks Technical Community College is securing $10 million in funding for three capital improvement projects—one in Springfield, one in Lebanon, and one in Hollister. KSMU’s Missy Shelton reports.

OTC administrators face a real problem. And the college president, Dr. Hal Higdon can quantify the problem for you.

“We have the least square footage per student of any school in Missouri. We have half the average square foot per student of any other school. It would cost us probably $60 million just to get to average.”

The school is going to spend a lot less than that to relieve some of the demand for classroom space. Higdon says OTC will direct $2 million into remodeling one of the buildings on its Springfield campus.

“We have a large building called ICW 100, which is a really large hall. We will put a second floor into that, which will create 10 additional classrooms. That means 240 more seats are available multiple times throughout the day, which should help us with our continued growth.”

In Lebanon, OTC will use just under $3 million from issuing bonds to renovate two buildings donated to the school by a couple in California. Between the two facilities, there will be 17 classrooms, student services space, and administrative offices. The school will use $700,000 in grants and its own funds for infrastructure upgrades on the Lebanon campus. The third and largest project is in Hollister.

“Hollister came into our district in April. The voters voted us in. We’ll be building an education center in Hollister. We haven’t found the center yet or the property. It’ll be the last project that will be finished because we’re still looking for property but that will provide Hollister and the surrounding communities an education center that will have room to grow.”

OTC officials say they hope to have the funding details secured by this fall, allowing them to complete work on the Springfield and Lebanon facilities by fall of 2011.