OWC South Walton center construction moving forward
by Sylvia Bryan, director of marketing, Okaloosa-Walton College
The start of construction on a South Walton Center for Okaloosa-Walton College is on track for spring of 2007, thanks to the $1 million allocation during the recent state legislative session.
According to OWC president, Dr. Bob Richburg, securing funding for the South Walton Center, which will be the college’s seventh location in the two-county region, was a priority for the college during the legislative session that recently concluded.
“In addition to providing for our education and student services programs, the Florida Legislature addressed several key programs and facilities for OWC,” said Richburg. He noted that the local legislative delegation of Reps. Don Brown, Marti Coley, Greg Evers and Ray Sansom and Sens. Charles Clary and Durell Peaden, provided the leadership to make both the South Walton Center and a Community Services Complex on the Niceville Campus “a reality for our college and our community.”
The OWC South Walton Center, which will be built in the Walton County government complex near the intersection of U.S. Highways 98 and 331, had previously been funded by the state for the land acquisition and master planning phases.
The project now has suffi - cient funds for facility planning and site preparation. Funds for construction are expected to be available in 2007-08.
According to Richburg, the new college center will become part of the complex that houses the South Walton High School, the South Walton Library and the Walton County Government Center. The time line for the project will be finalized during detailed planning this fall, with site work expected to begin in spring 2007.
College officials estimate that the facility will open in August 2009. In addition to educational programs and college services, OWC officials plan to provide a portion of the facility for use by the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, an OWC affi liated environmental organization.
In Walton County, OWC also operates the Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, which provides a full range of college services and classes.
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