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Southwest Missouri Construction--Neosho

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area

A local college is breaking new ground after experiencing some serious growing pains.

The Crowder College business and agricultural department held a ground breaking March 19 for the new Ann H. and John Y. Williams Agricultural Science Center, named for the family whose donation made the center possible.

The new 20,000-square-foot center will house three major wings for animal, poultry and soil science.

A state-of-the-art distance-learning classroom will also be built to allow students who want an education but cannot attend classes on campus to earn their degrees.

A computer lab with Internet access will also be built, allowing students to research their fields of study.

The college had 61 agricultural students in 1986. That number jumped to 140 in fall 1997 and continues to grow.

The college's Dr. Kent Farnsworth said the students have been forced to learn in cramped quarters for the last several years.

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