This design rendering shows the future Center for Workforce and Student Success, to be built at OTC. (Photo courtesy OTC)

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In addition to core funding boosts, the Missouri budget signed June 28 by Gov. Mike Parson will help Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University fund major building projects for their Springfield campuses.

Parson signed the $51.7 billion budget on Friday, earlier agreed to by the Missouri General Assembly. In the days preceding the budget adoption, Parson promised significant vetoes of earmarked projects, and ended up removing 173 of them worth about $1 billion.

In addition to a $15 million allocation for the Alliance on Healthcare Education, Parson left in key projects for the two schools, including a student success center at OTC and a new headquarters for arts, social sciences and humanities at MSU.

OTC proceeds with student success center

Lincoln Hall at Ozarks Technical Community College. (Photo provided by OTC)

OTC will receive $46 million from the state to fund a new Center for Workforce and Student Success. The project is estimated to cost $60 million; the college plans to raise private funds and use capital funding for the balance. 

The project will result in a 100,000-square-foot building that houses academic support and workforce training for students, as well as a new bookstore, food court, library and tutoring center. It will also include a wellness center and large assembly space for gatherings.

“We are grateful to Gov. Parson and value his office’s continued support of our strategic plans and commitment to students and workforce development,” said Chancellor Hal Higdon in a press release. “We are excited to create a center that will be the heart of excellence and learning for our students for decades to come.”   

It will be built on the southwest corner of the college’s campus, at the northeast intersection of Chestnut and Sherman streets. When finished, it will include a pedestrian-friendly plaza that connects the center for the rest of campus. It will be large enough to accommodate outdoor seating, events and recreational activities, and will also help connect the campus to Silver Springs Park.

Already the college has been working on constructing parking lots in its northern areas to make up for the spots it will lose to the center. The OTC Board of Trustees is expected to select a builder by August, and construction is hoped to be completed by the fall 2026 semester. 

Two out of three ain’t bad for MSU

The Art Annex at Missouri State University in Springfield used to be at Camp Crowder in Neosho. (Photo by Joe Hadsall)

A request for more than $1.3 million to expand a nursing and health program at the Missouri State University-West Plains campus was rejected by the governor, but two major projects at its Springfield campus were approved. 

The university will receive $47.5 million for renovations at Cheek Hall and other STEM buildings across campus. It is a continuation of a 2023 state appropriation, and bolsters the university’s Center for Transformational Education for Life, Physical and Health Sciences.

In October , the Missouri State University Board of Governors hired Christner Architects to design the renovation for Cheek Hall. The firm’s work will include investigations of exteriors, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems of the building originally constructed in 1955. Completion is hoped for the beginning of the fall 2025 semester. 

MSU will also get $17.5 million in state funding for the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Complex. The project will replace the aging Art Annex and renovate Craig Hall for its college of arts, social sciences and humanities.

Called a “front porch” for the south side of its campus along Grand Street, the project is designed to be a gateway for the arts. It was announced alongside an eight-figure donation from the C.W. Titus Foundation.


Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Hauxeda. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or jhadsall@hauxeda.com. More by Joe Hadsall