SCC purchased One Academy Place allowing for new and expanded programming

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St. Charles Community College made history when the college closed on One Academy Place in Dardenne Prairie last week. This property will serve as the college’s first satellite location, and its initial intent will be to expand Nursing and Allied Health offerings and develop additional workforce and industry programs.

The 69,000-square-foot building was the former site of Barat Academy. It was purchased by Lindenwood in September 2012, and SCC leased approximately 26,000 square feet of the building’s space for its Nursing and Allied Health program under terms of the colleges’ partnership agreement from 2012-2017.

The SCC Board of Trustees approved the purchase contract on of the building at their Dec. 5, 2016, meeting, and SCC finalized the purchase of the property for $9.45 million on Feb. 24, 2017.

SCC President Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D., and Lindenwood University President Michael Shonrock, Ph.D., signed a ceremonial closing on One Academy Place on Friday, Feb. 24, commemorating the collaboration between two institutions as SCC takes over ownership of the property.

SCC plans to utilize the space to create a world-class, innovative learning environment that expands access to higher education and professional and career development for students, businesses and communities served, according to college officials. “We hope to add additional career pathways for our students,” said Amy Koehler, dean of nursing and allied health. “We want to be able to meet students wherever they are in their educational journey or career.”

New and expanded programs will include an associate degree in nursing-bridge, medical assisting, occupational therapy assistant, surgical technology, information technology, welding, agricultural and food science, transportation/logistics and applied engineering/integrated technology programs, to name a few.

“At the same time SCC is gaining square-footage, students are gaining additional opportunities to reach their educational goals,” said SCC President Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D.

A business plan for the use of the property was developed by John Bookstaver, Ph.D., interim vice president for academic and student affairs; Koehler; and Amanda Sizemore, dean of corporate and community development.

The programs were strategically selected to help fill a need in the workforce both nationally and locally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Occupational Therapy Assistants career growth is projected to be 43 percent by 2024.

“During our research we learned that Tory Buchanan High School has the largest Future Farmers of America chapter in the nation, and that there are no higher education agriculture options close to them” said Bookstaver. “Our new agricultural and food science offering will give more students like these the opportunity to pursue studies that will help them achieve their dreams while contributing to the strength of the economy of the region.”

“With this site, we will have the opportunity to offer more stackable credits – things students can build on no matter where they are in life,” Koehler said.

A building rename will occur and a public dedication will coincide with the kickoff of the fall 2017 semester. The event is being planned for Sept. 13.