With the opening of the first building on the new Cowley College campus approaching soon, the process has not been without its headaches.  Following revelations of a vote in March by the college trustees that approved a $500,000 industrial kitchen and dining hall to the campus, there was a public outcry in the community about why this was even needed and who would be paying for it.
President Rittle responded to the complaints by saying that “one of the chief benefits of the kitchen and eatery on the Sumner Campus will be providing nutritional options for the students, so that students do not need to leave the campus, thus, increasing student safety, particularly for high school students. In addition, the eatery will provide catering options for citizens, who wish to use the community room such as local civic groups. We look forward to these spaces being used to bring the community together.”
Rama Peroo, Sports Information Coordinator, also volunteered several bits of information about the college long-term plans:
—“The Cowley College Sumner Campus will open the Technology and Innovation Center in the Fall of 2018 and the Short General Education Center in the Fall of 2019. Initial Phase I Construction will be completed by the Summer of 2019.
—Criminal Justice, Gen Eds, and other programs are being discussed for the Short General Education building. A few courses may be offered in Summer 2019 with the full open of courses in Fall 2019. The concentration has been on getting the Technology and Innovation Center courses through the process and implemented.
—The street south of the Technology Building will be named the Shurtz-Juden Loop; and the street north of the Short Building is, as noted, the Davis-White Loop; and west side is Lucas Loop. The campus size will be eighteen acres, and square feet is unknown at this time and it will depend on the size of the additional buildings.
—Each Cowley site has its own brand. Mulvane- STEM, Winfield- Allied Health, Wichita – Variety and online, Ark City – base/core of the College, and Sumner campus is AG, IT, technical and innovation. Some courses may be offered at more than one campus, some will be offered at one site. Through technology, we can bring the campuses together. Also, the Sumner campus is close to all of the other sites. This allows for shared resources as needed without duplicating efforts at each site. Each site has different business, community and educational needs with some common areas. Cowley is utilizing their resources at the different sites and duplicating programs only when needed.
—The College currently offers close to 40 online programs which can be taken anywhere; however, the Cowley College Sumner Campus will provide learning resources which online students can leverage to pursue their studies—much like the Ark City Campus. We will have multiple technical programs of study and liberal arts two-year degree completion capabilities at the Short Center.”