Last updated: August 25. 2014 1:26PM - 715 Views

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Southern State Community College held a dedication ceremony Wednesday for its new Mt. Orab campus, with the school’s president calling the facility a part of “fulfilling Southern State’s mission and vision.”

In a press release, SSCC said that when the ground was broken last summer for the school’s new campus in Brown County, it seemed implausible that the facility would be completed in just one year. The construction project finished ahead of schedule, however, and is ready to welcome students to the fall semester.

To mark the official opening, a dedication ceremony was held Wednesday at 351 Brooks-Malott Road in Mt. Orab.

“The facility dedication we are hosting here today is just one component of us fulfilling Southern State’s mission and vision,” said Kevin Boys, SSCC president. “In dedicating this facility tonight, we also dedicate ourselves to ensuring that what happens inside these walls continues to be relevant and responsive. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with our K-12 school districts and our career tech centers so that more high school students will set their sights on post high school education. We also rededicate ourselves tonight to bringing to reality the vision of a campus in Adams County where we can expand our reach there as we do here.”

In addition to its slate of core college courses, the new campus also will offer programs in human and social services (chemical dependency), business management, accounting, entrepreneurship, computer generalist, interactive media and simulation, cyber security and forensics, practical nursing, and HVAC, according to officials.

Within its two-story, 50,000-square-foot design, the campus includes a community room, bookstore, learning commons, multipurpose classrooms, science labs, nursing labs, and HVAC technology labs.

“On Monday, this building is going to be filled with new and returning students,” said Doug Boedeker, chair of the SSCC Board of Trustees. “We could not be more proud to equip them with a new facility and cutting-edge technology. This space is dedicated to our students’ learning process and to their success.”

A ground-breaking in June 2013 kicked off construction which stayed ahead of schedule throughout the yearlong process. Southern State’s expansion project has been several years in the making. In 2010, the college invited an architectural firm to complete a facilities assessment. The study revealed that the college’s campus in Fincastle would require a significant investment to bring it up to current standards, which led to the decision to pursue a replacement campus in Brown County.”

“It’s amazing how well this project came together; it’s almost like it was meant to be,” said Mt. Orab Mayor Bruce Lunsford. “The quality this campus is going to put out is what’s really important for the future of this area, not only in Mt. Orab, but all of Brown County and southern Ohio. We’re very happy to welcome to Southern State. What it’s going to do for the future of people in this area is very exciting.”

During the dedication ceremony, local and state dignitaries offered their congratulations. Guest remarks were given by Senator Joe Uecker, Representative Doug Green, Ohio Board of Regents Vice Chancellor Gary Cates, and Gov. Kasich’s Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison Sherri Carbo. The Brown County Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

Though the ceremony recognized the official opening of campus, Southern State staff welcomed more than 600 visitors to a sneak peek event held July 15. Guests were invited to join guided tours of the new facility and attend workshops on career coaching, the admissions process, financial aid, and student support services.

“We’re excited about our newest location in Mt. Orab, right on the Appalachian Highway,” said Boys. “Our mission to provide accessible, affordable, quality education will be further advanced by this convenient location in Brown County. Our future plans to expand evening offerings and accelerated weekend programs will no doubt create new options for adults who regularly commute along this vital corridor.”

Southern State currently has four campus locations in Hillsboro, Washington C.H., Wilmington and Mt. Orab, primarily serving students in Adams, Brown, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties. The college offers a host of academic programs, including certificates and degrees, continuing education, workforce development, and GED and college preparation, as well as collaborative programs which allow for onsite advanced degree completion through partner institutions.

For more information on the Brown County Campus, visit www.sscc.edu/newcampus/index.shtml. To learn more about Southern State Community College, call 1-800-628-7722, email info@sscc.edu, or visit www.sscc.edu.

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