Groundbreaking - Diesel Technology Center in Atchison, Kansas

published September 16, 2020Groundbreaking - Diesel Technology Center in Atchison, Kansas

On September 8, 2020, Highland Community College, friends, local businesses and supporters celebrated the ground-breaking of the new Diesel Technology Center in Atchison, Kansas. This is an expansion project that’s been 18 years in the making. In 2002, Higher Education in Kansas removed Kansas Community Colleges from coordination under the Kansas State Board of Education and moved us to the Kansas Board of Regents. Soon after, the Regents determined Technical Colleges must become stand-alone institutions, with their own governance or merge with existing community college or university. Highland Community College and what was Northeast Kansas Technical College, under the governance of USD 409, had an existing working relationship.

In 2008, both parties came to a mutual agreement to merge Northeast Kansas Technical College with Highland Community College becoming Highland Community College Technical Center at Atchison. Highland has continued to serve the citizens of the Atchison community (with no mill levy) and surrounding communities by offering in demand technical training along with transferrable general education courses.

Highland Community College currently has 10 area high schools sending students to Atchison for technical training, serving almost 300 students. The Diesel program has continued to be a very popular program and the quality instruction provided by our dedicated faculty is top-notch. Construction of this facility not only is an opportunity to expand the existing program, but gives Highland opportunities to bring in one, possibly two new programs to the Atchison area. Highland will utilize the space the Diesel program will be vacating.

Highland would not be in this position without the leadership of Former HCC President Dave Reist and the current HCC Board of Trustees, Former USD 409 Superintendent, Susan Myers, and USD 409 Board Members. Highland would also like to thank State Representative Dr. John Eplee, who wears many hats in the Atchison community and a strong advocate for this project, and the City of Atchison for their support and willingness to work through the many challenges new construction can bring.

In addition, Highland would like to thank Strickland Construction for their vision of a new Diesel Technology Building and their guidance and willingness to partner in fundraising for this project. Also, recognition goes to Sutherland Foundation-Kent Sunderland and Randy Vance, Union State Bank and Roger Caudle, Rogers Strickland, Courtney Turner Trust and Jon Mize, Karen Seaburg, Rich Dickison, Rick Berger, Geiger Ready Mix and Joey Anderson, KanEquip and Jim Meinhardt, Foley’s Repair, the Orscheln Foundation, Exchange Bank Foundation, Blish-Mize, Pratt Family Foundation and Rick Berger, HCC Foundation and Alumni Relations, and the Director of the Technical Center, Lucas Hunziger, Tim Housch and crew.

Thank you to all who shared the special day with us. We could not have done this without your support!

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