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Lincoln Hall is slated to undergo roughly $2 million worth of construction work.
SBJ file
Lincoln Hall is slated to undergo roughly $2 million worth of construction work.

OTC board OKs nearly $4M in construction projects

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The Ozarks Technical Community College Board of Trustees gave the green light to nearly $4 million worth of construction projects designed to boost the workforces of the health care and plumbing industries.

Around $2 million was approved for work at Lincoln Hall, with another nearly $1.8 million going toward the Industry Transportation and Technology Center, according to a news release. The board approved the projects at its Feb. 13 meeting.

At Lincoln Hall, roughly $1.54 million is being used to create a new practical nursing lab and to expand and enhance the college's surgical technology program. A $1.5 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant is paying for most of the work.

The changes are designed to shore up the nursing workforce, as Missouri Hospital Association data show more than 100 practical nursing vacancies annually in southwest Missouri. The new practical nursing lab would allow 24 additional nurses to graduate annually, according to the release.

Changes to the surgical technology program will boost its student capacity by 30% and double the size of the program's laboratory facilities. Surgical technologists, which assist physicians in the operating room, have 40 vacancies annually in the region, according to MHA data.

Additionally, the OTC board gave the OK to $429,000 in funding to remodel Lincoln Hall's interior entrance with new flooring, paint, lighting and corridor upgrades, according to the release.

With the funding approved for the ITTC, OTC will construct a classroom, laboratory and offices for its newly announced plumbing program. The program is scheduled to debut in 2024.

The school received a $1.3 million grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development for the plumbing program's startup costs, according to past reporting.

Work is scheduled to begin on both projects this spring, according to the release.

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