Lake voters will be getting their fill of major decisions over the next year as another big vote will now be on the ballot in April. The Camdenton R-III school board has approved a resolution to place a ballot issue to allow the district to become part of the Ozarks Technical College (OTC) service area. As part of the service area, patrons in R-III would consider a levy for OTC of 20 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Lake voters will be getting their fill of major decisions over the next year as another big vote will now be on the ballot in April. The Camdenton R-III school board has approved a resolution to place a ballot issue to allow the district to become part of the Ozarks Technical College (OTC) service area. As part of the service area, patrons in R-III would consider a levy for OTC of 20 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

In their own independent polling, OTC members found that the support was present in the district to house a new community campus. Even so, Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of Camdenton R-III, says that the board feels that the community is still not fully informed as to what the plan entails. This is why they have chosen to ballot in April, in order to gain more time to spread their ideas.

“We see this as an educational opportunity. It’s our responsibility to see what our community thinks about this opportunity. It’s exciting to see what the future holds for this,” Hadfield said.

The district currently has courses in place for students to take dual-credit hours with other community colleges, including State Fair. As of now, Hadfield says they aren’t sure how this move would affect their current relationships with other partnered schools. He says the choice ultimately to go with OTC was based on the best possible opportunity to get comprehensive college courses on a campus in Camdenton.

In previous discussion surrounding the project, Hal Higdon, Ph.D., Ozarks Technical Community College President said that the Lake of the Ozarks area is an area that has been deemed underserved in secondary education, specifically in the trades. By building a local community college, he said it would take large strides in serving not only fresh graduates looking for an education that would get them into a trade job quickly, but also for unemployed adults looking for a change of career. They anticipate that the campus would serve around 800 students.

No specific location has been made for the campus, though the project cost for whatever is ultimately built sits at $15 to $20 million. The issue goes to the ballot April 7th in Camden, Morgan, and Laclede counties.