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Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri moving forward with higher education corridor
In a press conference earlier today, officials from Lincoln University, State Technical College of Missouri and Jefferson City Public Schools announced a deal in the purchase of public schools property. Lincoln University will purchase Jefferson City High School and Simonsen Ninth Grade Center. State Technical College of Missouri will acquire Nichols Career Center.
Both Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri officials are already looking forward to what these purchases mean for the access to affordable, quality higher education in Jefferson City and Central Missouri. The deal will establish a higher education corridor in Jefferson City, which will run from the intersection of Dunklin and Lafayette Streets to Stadium and Leslie Boulevard roundabout. Officials from Lincoln University describe the $8.39 million purchase as a major development in the long-term growth of Lincoln University.
“The university’s master plan includes areas for growth in infrastructure and programmatic that we will now be able to accomplish through this acquisition,” says Dr. Connie Hamacher, Interim President of Lincoln University. “The high school property will allow us to relocate some programs, such as nursing and our music programs, which have outgrown their current facilities. The high school facilities will also provide additional classroom space for general education courses. We plan to sit down and take an in-depth look at the master plan, which really encompasses our academic and co-curricular needs to find ways to adequately utilize these facilities.”
Interim Provost Jerome Offord says while the purchase is a step into the future, it also brings the university back to the heart of its beginning.
“Lincoln University’s first classes in September 1866 were held on Hobo Hill, which is now the site of Simonsen Ninth Grade Center,” says Offord. “This building means a better future for Lincoln University, but it also is an exciting time for us from an historical perspective. Our founders could never have envisioned this Lincoln University of today and now to be able to expand back to where we began, is monumental.”
“The purchase of the Nichols property is an efficient use of funds that offer benefits to students, the community and the state of Missouri,” says Dr. Donald Claycomb, President of State Technical College of Missouri.
State Technical College of Missouri plans to use the space to continue housing the Dental Assisting Technology, Practical Nursing Technology and Medical Radiologic Technology programs which are in the process of being transferred to State Technical College of Missouri effective Fall semester 2013.
“The remaining classrooms and laboratories will allow State Technical College of Missouri another opportunity to offer programs that expand higher education opportunities for Missourians especially those in the greater Jefferson City area,” says Claycomb.
State Technical College of Missouri will conduct needs assessments and seek advice from members of the community regarding offerings that would be of greatest benefit.
The sale also paves the way for the Jefferson City Public Schools to develop new high school facilities suited for the Academies at Jefferson City High School. With funding from a proposed future bond issue, the school system will construct a new high school, with facilities more conducive to the learning communities that will be part of a seven academy system. The school district plans to vacate the current high school property by Fall 2016.
The purchase will be supported by federal funds from the Title III program. Title III, a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, provides grant funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for various purposes, including strengthening an institution’s physical and academic resources.
With more than 35 academic programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission to prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning.
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