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$6 million expansion at OTC
Health Sciences building to grow by 25,000 square feet
OTC Expansion
Ogeechee Technical College's Health Science Building will undergo a 25,000 Square-foot expansion in the near future. - photo by Special
    A new Health Science building expansion will provide needed space for Ogeechee Technical College's growing enrollment, and will give the local economy a boost, said OTC President Dawn Cartee.
    A proposed 25,000-square-foot addition became reality recently when Gov. Sonny Perdue included the project in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget and signed it into law, she said. The project will expand the OTC Health Sciences facility to more than 58,000 square feet.
    The college's needs quickly outgrew the current Health Programs building, which was constructed in 2000. Health programs are still being housed in OTC's original Joseph E. Kennedy building, Cartee said.
    The expansion, which is estimated to cost around $6 million, will accommodate about 500 students, and will allow for future growth, she said.
    Planning and design will begin in fiscal year 2010, with actual construction in 2011. Students will be able to use the expansion by 2012.
     "When the health building was constructed, our Radiologic  Technology program remained in the Kennedy building because of the  extensive cost of moving x-ray and associated equipment," Cartee said.  "But having added numerous Imaging Science programs, and with needing space for newer, more modern radiology related equipment, this expansion will answer some of our greatest facility needs."
    The school's Imaging Science programs, as well as other health programs, will be moved when the expansion is complete, she said.  
"We are always looking to meet the needs of our medical community by supplying a qualified work force,” she said.
    The vacated space in the Kennedy Building will be used for the college's Early Childhood Care and Education program which is now housed in the Kennedy annex, she said.
    Increasing enrollment has created a need for the expansion, Cartee said.
"With a growing student population, our space needs are always critical,” she said. “This expansion will be a great help in allowing us to provide a better environment for our students, with more spacious and modern labs and classrooms."
Expansion will help economy
        The expansion will help the local economy as well as the college, Cartee said.
"The  financial impact of this project will be felt locally as materials are purchased, and people are put to work building the addition. The long-term benefit will be in the number of highly trained graduates we ill be able to turn out."
    Sen. Jack Hill, with support from state Representatives Bob Lane, Butch Parrish, and Jon Burns, was a driving force behind the expansion, she said. "We know that we would not have gotten approval for this building without he hard work of all of our legislators."
     "Ogeechee Technical College is a vital component of our local economy," Hill said. "A trained work force is a major attraction for industry and business, and  providing the means for the college to continue to grow and prosper is  important to our region."

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