The Columbia College campus at Lake of the Ozarks will begin construction on a $2.4 million building as early as June.
The new building will include classrooms, a nursing center and lab, two computer labs, a student study lab, a science lab, student commons, a vending area and a faculty lounge, the school said in a news release.
“The existing facility wasn’t designed for classrooms,” said Bob Hutton, plant and facilities director. “It’s not adequate in design ... it’s not adequate for our size and scope, and there are some maintenance issues.”
Hutton said they looked at the possibility of remodeling the existing building but decided that would cost as much as building a new one. The college will continue to own the building and officials are considering leasing it.
College officials are looking at a nine- to 10-month construction period and hope to have the new building completed by spring 2005.
“We’re hoping with the new building to attract new students,” Hutton said.
Hutton said they expect to see an increase in enrollment with the new nursing program at Lake of the Ozarks campus. The college is also trying to start programs in American studies and fire-service administration.
Enrollment at the lake campus is about 400 students each session. There are five eight-week sessions per year.
Money for the project will come from lake property the college sold and other fund-raising it will pursue in the lake area, Hutton said. If those measures don’t make up the $2.4 million, college funding will help finance the project.
The lake campus was established in 1990. It offers degrees in business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice, general studies, history, psychology and political science.