Crowder College president speaks of new offices

John Hacker

Crowder College is making plans for new buildings and offices in several places, including Webb City, Cassville and McDonald County.

Crowder President Alan Marble came to Webb City on Tuesday to speak to officials at the monthly city-county conclave, held this month in King Jack Park, and he spoke about growth at the different Crowder campuses, including the addition of a new campus in the next few years.

Marble said Crowder will finalize the purchase of 40 acres of land in McDonald County on Wednesday on which it plans to build a new campus to serve the growing population in McDonald County.

He said the property is about two miles north of the Arkansas state line and adjoins a 50-acre tract of land, purchased by the McDonald County School District, where that district plans to eventually build a new high school.

Marble also said the college has long-range plans to build a new building in Webb City to serve the 550 students taking classes there.

He said the college has outgrown the old armory at 600 S. Ellis St. in Webb City.

Marble said of the 550 students at the Webb City campus, 96 were Joplin graduates, 76 were from out of state, 74 came with a GED, 69 were Webb City graduates and 62 were Carthage graduates.

Marble promoted Crowder as a higher education alternative for people planning to go straight into a job or continue with their education at a four-year institution.

He also talked about the unique programs Crowder offers, such as the alternative energy program, which will provide classes in maintaining wind turbines, making ethanol and bio-diesel, installing and maintaining solar energy systems and many more.

He said the most visible manifestation of the college's alternative energy program is the 125-foot high wind turbine, currently in the final stages of installation at Crowder's main campus in Neosho.

In other news from the conclave, Carthage Mayor Jim Woestman said a reporter from the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper had come to Carthage recently to write an article about the city's struggle with odors coming from Renewable Environmental Systems.

He said he was planning to attend another meeting in Jefferson City regarding the odors and he hoped the national attention would keep the issue in front of lawmakers.

Woestman also spoke about two new restaurants coming to Carthage, one under construction on Fir Road and the other going into an existing building on Garrison Street.

Joplin Public Works Director David Hertzberg talked about progress on the new terminal and new control tower at the Joplin Regional Airport.

He said crews had finished the footings and the new control tower, on the east side of the airport will start rising into the sky soon.

Hertzberg said the new terminal is nearly finished, although it won't be occupied until new roads, parking lots and taxiways are finished.

Hertzberg said if funding comes through from the federal government, the city should be able to award contracts for construction of those projects this Spring, and the terminal project is on schedule for a late 2008 completion.