|SKTCTC President Dr. Phil Neal
|| KCTCS President Dr. Jay Box
|| Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon
| Foundatino Board Chair Lowell Guthrie
||Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson
||SGA President Nick Taylor
Aaron Mudd - BG Daily News
Officials at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College want to expand student opportunities and services with a new instructional complex that's now under construction.
Phil Neal, the community college's president, said the project's been in the works for around a decade. It was an attempt to keep up with developments in the region and needs on campus, he said.
"We hope that it will help continue to build and expand our talent pipeline, which is so critical to supporting our industries," Neal told about 80 people at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.
Once completed, the $22 million building will feature a new library and separate wings devoted to allied health and science, technology, engineering and math careers. The building will also bring dining services to campus, which Neal said is the No. 1 request among students.Up to 75 percent of the costs are being covered by an $8 per credit hour student fee that's been approved by students, according to Heather Rogers, SKYCTC's associate vice president of institutional advancement.
The building totals 72,000 square feet. An entire wing on the second floor will be devoted to allied health professions with "simulation rooms" mirroring medical facilities, Rogers said. Another wing will feature labs and classrooms that Rogers said will help the college develop an engineering pipeline to Western Kentucky University where students can finish their degrees.
Other higher education and local government officials spoke at the ceremony. Among them was Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Some students will earn associate degrees and certificates by taking classes in the building and move into the workforce, he said. Others will continue their studies at a four-year college."Whatever our students choose to do, we're happy to be a part of helping them fulfill their dreams," Box said. "Our mission is to improve the lives and employability of Kentuckians."
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon praised the college for helping people find direction in their lives.
"You actually help people find what they want to do," he said. "You create opportunities for them to build a future."Mayor Bruce Wilkerson stressed the importance of career-oriented education.
"I know education for education's sake is important," he said. "But I've become even more aware of what focused education ... what it means to know that at the end of your education you have a job waiting for you."
Student body President Nick Taylor told the Daily News before the ceremony that the building will "open up opportunities" for students.
Lori Slaughter teaches radiology at the school and said students will benefit from two digital radiography rooms in the new building. The equipment makes taking X-Rays much easier and exposes patients to lower doses of radiation.
"Not all facilities have digital," she said. "So we're a step ahead."
Follow reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @aaron_muddbgdn or visit bgdailynews.com