Crowd braves chill and wind to celebrate beginning of landmark project
More than 100 community members joined Seward County Community College Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a $4.2 million facility slated to open for the 2019-20 academic year. The crowd braved low temperature and a chilly wind to mark the beginning of a historic project for the campus, construction of the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health.
The center is so named in honor of the Colvin family, beginning with benefactors Bill and Virginia Colvin, now deceased. Their legacy continued with the extended family and Ken and Molly Colvin, culminating in a $1 million gift to the project.
Kent Colvin spoke briefly at the groundbreaking, affirming his family’s longstanding connection to the college.
“I like to think my parents are looking down on us today, and are happy with what they see,” he said, adding the SCCC tagline, “It’s good to be Green!”
“It’s because of the long, patient work carried out by the Foundation and people like former college president, Dr. Duane Dunn, former development director Tammy Doll, and donors and team members that we have been able to achieve this goal,” he said. Trzaska also praised Foundation President Duane Bozarth, Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander, “and the community as a whole, which has worked tirelessly to support this project.”
In her remarks, Dean of Allied Health Dr. Suzanne Campbell described the college’s existing programs, which have been housed in the Epworth Building, a repurposed hospital in downtown Liberal.
“It has served us well over the years, but as an aging structure, it has limitations,” she said. The new facility will allow student to experience cutting-edge technology in an environment close to that of the workplace. Ultimately, the community and region will reap the benefits.
“If you’ve had surgery, or respiratory therapy, if you have blood drawn or depend on lab results, those are students we’ve trained, along with our nursing students,” she said.
Representatives from local, state, and national government showed up to take part in the event, from the offices of Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, and Rep. Roger Marshall. State legislators Shannon Francis and Steve Alford attended in person, along with Liberal mayor Connie Seigrist and Seward County Administrator April Warden. School board, hospital and Chamber of Commerce representatives also attended, along with board members from the college and Foundation.
“We appreciate you coming to this historic event,” said VP of Academic Affairs, Dr. Todd Carter. “I’m excited about the possibilities the new building offers to students, including high school students in the area.”
Seward County Community College will begin construction on the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health before year’s end, following November’s unanimous board approval of a $4.2 million contract. Coonrod & Associates offered a construction budget of $4,156,433.00, with a contingency for change orders of $103,911.00, totaling to a contract sum of $4,260,344.00.
The project should wrap up in summer 2019.