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OTC’s New Claxton Facility
Progressing, To Hold Classes In ‘08

Architectural plans for Ogeechee Technical College’s classroom building that will be constructed in the Claxton-Evans County Industrial Park are nearly complete and college officials are expecting to hold classes in the building in the fall of 2008.  Earlier estimates had the building hosting classes this summer, but construction, which those timelines scheduled for November 2006 through June 2007, has not begun. The delay is partially due to the retirement of Gene Waters as OTC president in July 2006, right about the time the design phase of the project was to begin, said new President Dawn Cartee, who took over in January of this year.

The $1.6 million facility will house the commercial truck driving program that has been in Evans County for years. It will be funded through the state Department of Technical and Adult Education. The 10,000-square-foot building will include six classrooms, a demonstration room, two truck driving simulator rooms, four vehicle maintenance bays and six offices.  A new paved truck driving track was recently completed on the site and students in the program have already been using it while continuing to attend classes in a trailer. Funds for the track – $400,000 – came from the state Department of Transportation, with Evans County supplying some grading and preparation work.  The school’s fire science program will also operate out of the new building, though the horticulture program, which was at one time going to be included as well, will not be, said OTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Jessie Strickland.

Cartee said that when she came to OTC in January an architect had not been selected for the project. Martin Rule and Associates was hired in February to design the facility and is completing final revisions on the plans now, she said. Once the plans are complete, the project will be let out for bids, and then the funds for construction will be available.  Construction should begin in three to six months and last for about nine months, she said. Then, in fall 2008, the building will be opened to classes.

Once the new facility is in place, Cartee plans to promote the program more extensively. There are currently 15 students enrolled in the commercial truck driving program, the maximum for a single class. With more space in the new building, Cartee wants the program to grow, but will need the OTC Foundation’s help to raise money, since more students and more classes would also mean more teachers and more equipment, including trucks, she said.  “It will be exciting to have a new, state-of-the-art facility in Hagan,” Cartee said. “Especially for the truck driving program. They’ve had a bare minimum and still continued to graduate 100 percent of their students. With this new facility, they’ll be able to take even more pride in their program.”

Contact: Barry Turner
Executive Director of Public Relations
Phone: (912) 688-6958
Email: bturner@ogeecheetech.edu

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Phone: (800) 646-1316 | E-mail: info@ogeecheetech.edu

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