Ozarka College Is Expanding

POSTED - DECEMBER 4TH, 2007    5:30 P.M.  CST

ASH FLAT - It's a very exciting time for Ozarka college.

With the bulldozers and dump trucks taking a quick break. Ozarka college president Dusty Johnston and board members and officials officially turned the dirt for their new building on the Ash Flat campus.

President Johnston gave full credit to the board of trustees for the need of the new building to meet future student demands.

"They had the vision. They saw the need, we know where the growth patterns are, we know where the demographics are and we need to meet the student needs in sharp county, Fulton county, Ash Flat, Hardy and Highland."

The 9200 square foot building will house class rooms, a nursing lab, office space and a student center. The building was primarily built to accommodate the growing LPN program.

Johnston. "This new program, this new LPN expansion that we done, the jobs are there, the people are there, we started with 2o students, there's no reason why in the future we can't expand out more."

Even though today was the official ground breaking, they've been moving dirt here for about a week. Which means the turning of the sod today was more of a symbolic gesture.

Johnston, "And I say symbolic because the ground has been broken and were moving strong and fast ahead. And these pretty days are important and we want to accomplish as much of this building project as we can before winter sets in and I'm glad these guys are working hard."

The building was designed by Rico Harris of Harris Architecture in Hot Springs with the construction being done by Tate general contractors of Jonesboro.

But as with any college growth, growing pains come with it and another need already looms on the horizon.

Johnston,"Before this building is completed, we need a new parking lot. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday this fall we didn't have enough parking spaces at this campus. So we'll be moving forward to meet the needs of the students who choose to come to school at Ozarka College.