Crowder College: A glimpse to the future

50th-insert-coverBy Jesse O. Walls
Managing Editor

The Tatum Bell Tower, a monument to James B. Tatum, Crowder’s longest serving board member, serves as a reminder of the dream and vision that started more than 50 years ago and the man who has seen that dream come to be a reality and expand into the college that it is today. In 1963 the dream was a community college; today that dream has expanded to be so much more.

McDonald County Facility

The new McDonald County facility is scheduled to be finished by January 2014, and with this new facility comes the opportunity for Crowder to again expand its horizons, making it easier for people in McDonald County to attend classes, as well as giving people from the north-western portion of Arkansas a chance to become part of the Crowder community.

“We raised a million and a half for that facility,” Dr. Jim Cummins, director of finances, commented. “We’re excited to build one down there.”

The facility will be full service, offering students full range computer labs, two science labs, classes and nursing.

Webb City Plans

McDonald County is not the only campus looking at expansion; plans are currently being made for a new Webb City expansion as well. The new expansion should be able to accommodate double the students, taking the campus from 900 to approximately 2,000 students.

“The whole facility will be academic space,” stated Dr. Cummins of the new building, “so it will have classrooms and labs.”

The building, which will be two floors, will be a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shelter on the downstairs floor, and there will be a small portion dedicated to conference rooms and administrative offices. There are also hopes of starting the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program at this new facility.

Neosho Campus Renovations and Additions

While Crowder is growing in other areas, the Neosho campus may be seeing a few improvements as well. During the 50th speech given by President of Crowder College, Dr. Alan Marble, mention was made of foreseeable future plans for Crowder.
“On this campus we need to renovate Newton and McDonald Hall,” stated Dr. Marble in his speech, “those are the original buildings we inherited 50 years ago.”

Those renovations are currently in talks, as well as the possibility of a new Residence Building.

“[Residence halls] are the number one priority on this campus as far as large facility needs,” noted Dr. Cummins. Currently in talks with an architect to get an idea of price and how payments would be made, the college is looking at having a 200 bed facility built.

The college is also working with an energy service company to help upgrade such things as lighting and windows, to help make Newton and McDonald Halls more energy efficient, as well as finding ways to modernize and get more efficient use of the old buildings.

More immediate plans include renovations to the academic resource center (ARC), as well as the art room, this summer.