Ozarka College Breaks Ground On New Student Services Center

Construction of the Student Services Center on the Ozarka College – Melbourne campus will soon be underway after the
ceremonial groundbreaking on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

“The new Student Services Center is very exciting because it will result in a one-stop shop for our students’ needs while on campus,” said Dr. Richard Dawe, Ozarka College president. “Currently students must go from building to
building for their various service needs and this will help them focus much more on learning. It will also provide a beautiful new facility for the College community, local businesses and public service groups that has never before been available in the region.”

Guest speakers at the event included Ozarka College Board of Trustees Chair Dennis Wiles, State Sen. Missy Irvin, State Rep. Tommy Wren, City of Melbourne Mayor Shannon Womack and Izard County Judge David Sherrell. Ozarka College Student Ambassador Chelsey Smart also addressed the audience about the impact the new facility will have on students across all campuses.

Other elected officials in attendance included State Rep. Scott Baltz, State Rep. James Ratliff, Calico Rock Mayor Ronnie Guthrie, former State Sen. Paul Miller, Joseph Didden, representative for U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, Hillrey Adams, representative for U.S. Sen. John Boozman, University of Central Arkansas President Tom Courtway, University of Central Arkansas Trustee Kay Hinkle, University of Central Arkansas General Counsel Katie Henry, Richard Alderman, president of Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson, Jack Truemper and Michael McBryde of Stephens, Inc., Melbourne School District Superintendent Gerald Cooper, Melbourne High School Principal Kelly Powel, Melbourne Elementary School Principal Lori Loggains, and Jeanne Jones of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Representatives from area public school
districts, business and industry, and civic organizations also attended.

Ozarka College Foundation Board members Connie Moser and Mike Watson introduced the Foundation’s capital campaign that will raise funds to properly furnish the building once construction is complete. Moser and Watson will serve as the committee’s co-chairs.

The committee is currently in the process of securing donations and will continue its efforts until the building is completed. Naming and other giving opportunities are available. The campaign goal is $500,000.

Ozarka College Culinary Arts students prepared and served appetizers treats to the crowd under the direction of lead culinary instructor and Executive Chef Lou Rice.

Culinary Arts will be one department that will benefit from the new Student Services Center with a new cutting-edge culinary learning lab and banquet facility. The banquet facility will be used by the College community for various events, and will also be available for community use.

The new, state-of-the-art facility will house all student services, centralizing them in one convenient location on campus. It will also include various individual and group study areas, community meeting rooms and a café for student and community use.

Architects Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson of Fayetteville worked closely with College administration, faculty, staff, students and community representatives to create the modern, high-tech, student- and community-centered building.

Earlier this year, the Ozarka College Board of Trustees authorized the sale of approximately $3 million in bonds to finance construction of the building.

Large-scale renderings are currently available in the lobby of the John E. Miller Education Complex on the Melbourne campus, as well as area public buildings, schools and businesses. The community is invited to stop by to view them. The public is invited to view the construction page on the Ozarka website or may enter via the following link directly:


For more information, please contact Carol Langston, development officer and executive assistant to the president, at 870-368-2006 or at carol.langston@ozarka.edu.