EOCC New Building Face Delays

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A local college is setting enrollment records and is growing limited in space to learn.

The Enterprise-Ozark Community College is building a new hall for its aviation department to accommodate its growth. However, the grand opening is coming slower than expected.

Enrollment is up by 20-percent at the local community college.

The school began in February 2006 building its aviation maintenance training facility.

The 66,000 square foot building will include its own hangar for students to get hands-on training in aviation maintenance.

"We're thrilled for the students. We're thrilled for the city of Ozark and the two year college system here in our area to have a building like this. It's a fantastic looking building. We're getting good quality construction," says Tom Kirk, Director of Technical Aviation.

The doors were expected to open this fall, but now that won't happen, thanks to another construction project.

Bell-Aero Helicopter is expanding its facility and will include a state-of-the art fire suppression system, which allows mechanics to bring in air crafts that contain fuel.

In an effort to save money for both parties, the city of Ozark asked the college to join in the construction of the fuel suppression system.

However, by agreeing to that, the college will have to wait six months to complete construction.

"We'll have some tremendous cost savings initially and then over the long haul, there will be some in terms of maintenance and testing that's required on the system. So, it's a win/ win situation. It has caused a delay in the completion of about 6 months, but we think the benefits far outweigh the hold up," says Kirk.

Now school leaders are hoping to start class in the new building by spring to summer of 2008.

The total project costs about $8.7 million.

The delay in the fire suppression will not have an impact on the college costs.