Dodge City Community College is committed to building a new Agricultural Learning Center adjacent to the Western Bank Expo Building that is home to the annual 3i Show, says Don Woodburn, President of DCCC.
Speaking at a recent Cattlemen's Workshop that featured animal handling expert Temple Grandin, Woodburn said the college is committed to an ambitious project that eventually will include a classroom building, four horse stables, a breeding stable, an outdoor arena, a judging pavilion, the Kansas State University Farm Management Association, an artificial insemination education building, a concessions and ticket building and a hay storage barn as well as an equipment barn and two greenhouses.
Woodburn told attendees at the Cattlemens Workshop that there are opportunities currently available to honor the memory of a loved one or recognize the accomplishment of a family member by purchasing naming rights to one of the buildings in the complex. In addition a Donor Wall of Honor will provide recognition for those who make smaller gifts.
The plan for the construction of the facility involves authorizing the Ford County Public Building Commission to bond the construction cost and to build the building.
Dodge City Community College will then lease-purchase the facility for 20 years, paying off the bond obligation.
Phase One of the project, which will include the already-named Don Skinner Outdoor Arena, is expected to cost about $4.5 million. The bond obligation is 2.5% with a 20-year payback, making the annual payment about $250,000.
The college estimates that the facility will increase enrollment by about 200 students. Each of those students will provide about $5,000 annually to the operating budget through tuition, fees and state aid, giving the facility about $1 million per year for hiring faculty and providing operational support.
A study by the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees also estimates that each student will contribute about $10,000 annually to the local economy through living expenses.
Woodburn did not have a timetable for when construction of the facility is targeting to start but was adamant that it would become a reality.
"We will build this," he said. "This region needs it and we absolutely will build it."