Mid-Plains Community College to expand Imperial Campus
Mid-Plains Community College will expand its campus in Imperial to better meet the needs of students, businesses and industries in the southwest corner of its service area.
Enough funds have been raised to begin the project — possibly as early as this spring.
“The Imperial Community Campus expansion project will have a significant impact on the quality of life for residents of Imperial and the Chase County area,” said Bonnie Kruse, MPCC director of institutional advancement. “Now more than ever, the nation is looking to its community colleges to build a workforce that can strengthen local, state and national economies. With increased capacity, the Imperial Community Campus will provide expanded workforce training while serving as a source for rural economic stabilization to keep the region vital and strong.”
The MPCC Imperial Campus started out as a classroom and office in the Business Plaza in 2004 — in response to a growing need for higher education opportunities in Southwest Nebraska.
The space was outgrown by 2008, so the college purchased and renovated the Hometown Pharmacy building at 1324 Broadway, the site of the current campus.
It opened with a ribbon cutting in July of 2009.
Since that time, the campus has provided the Chase County region with both traditional and non-traditional classes, business and targeted industry trainings and a variety of avocational and recreational courses.
Increased partnerships with local businesses and industries have resulted in a need for additional space to accommodate enhanced workforce training, state-of-the-art mobile training equipment and advancements in distance learning technology.
The Imperial Campus has also experienced an upward trend in full-time enrollment over the past five years —from 22.7 percent during the 2014-15 academic year to 33.6 percent in 2018-19.
“The Imperial Community Campus has been maximized and used to its fullest potential,” Kruse said. “By expanding the existing facility, the Imperial Community Campus will be able to provide space for additional enrollment in nursing, CPR and Emergency Medical Services. Not only will there be more class space for general education/transfer courses, but also a multi-purpose room for on-site, applied technology courses and hands-on learning opportunities.”
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