In April, Camden County voters will be presented with a choice to bring another education option to the lake. Ozarks Technical College (OTC) is a successful vote away from building a brand new campus within the Camdenton school district.

In April, Camden County voters will be presented with a choice to bring another education option to the lake. Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) is a successful vote away from building a brand new campus within the Camdenton school district.

Discussions on the topic have been ongoing for nearly a year now. OTC’s main campus is located in Springfield. The community college district has campuses in Nixa, at Table Rock in Hollister as well as locations in Lebanon and Waynesville, offering 40 different degree programs. OTC is the third largest community college in Missouri. The city of Camdenton initially reached out to OTC about providing the community with educational opportunities.

With the vote coming soon, more detailed discussions surrounding exactly what might be seen at this campus have continued. Assistant Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Danny Gutirrez confirmed that the school would be in search of at least 20 acres to build on that is in sight of a 4-lane highway. The estimated cost of building is set at $15 - $20 million. All size and cost estimates are currently tentative, as much of the final design elements will come once the vote has been completed.

Gutirrez was able to provide an architectural rendering of what a campus in the lake area might look like. The initial depiction showcases a setup with two main buildings and a lobby connecting in the center.

Being a full-sized campus, this campus would house not only class spaces, but also meeting and office space for staff. This includes financial aid, a dean and more full-time personnel that one would expect from a college. As for what classes can be expected, Gutirrez says there are currently plans for allied health fields, technical education and more. This is ultimately determined by what classes the community has the most demand for, and is also tentative.

Gutirrez is a Camdenton High School graduate in the class of 2006, and says that this type of college campus is something he and many of his friends looked for when planning their future education. Because no full-sized college opportunities were available at the lake, he says they felt forced to seek options away from the area and landed in Springfield. He says that OTC and the city of Camdenton both agree that this space would be a way to keep local students in the area and could possibly draw more commerce as a whole.

Camdenton Mayor John McNabb has worked closely with OTC officials since the inception of this idea and also sees this campus as a way to fix many issues surrounding city growth. He sees having a local campus as a way to not only keep the area workforce local, but to drive that workforce to be stronger and more attractive to outside business opportunities.

Voters will be asked to take on a 20 cent levy on $100.00 of assessed valuation to include this campus, which is the lowest community college levy in the state.

To McNabb, the most important thing the city can do is to educate the people on all aspects of the vote and to be as transparent as possible.

McNabb is hopeful that the vote will pass and that OTC will be able to find a space in the city limits of Camdenton to build.

For more information, check here: https://www.otc.edu/april2020/