Power lines, across property purchased by the Northeast Technology Center in Claremore, are coming down and

construction workers will soon be moving into the area to begin

construction of a west campus for the school.

NTC officials said the new campus should be ready in about 18 months, the spring of 2009.

The property was purchased in 2005, with original plans calling for the center to open this month. Delays came about due negotiations to relocate the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) power line, other utilities and funding.

With the poles now being moved, Dr. Tobie Titsworth,

assistant superintendent for the technology center, said construction is expected to finally begin.

Titsworth provided an update on the west campus project during a breakfast meeting at Will Rogers Downs.

NTC has three campus in northeast Oklahoma, one just east of the Rogers-Mayes county line on Highway 20, the Afton campus and the Kansas (Okla.) campus.

“We also have a training center south of Claremore in the Cherokee Nation Housing facility,” Titsworth said.

When completed the campus will provide opportunities for area high school students and adult learners in the areas of computer automated manufacturing, computer systems integration, environmental and spatial technology (EAST), practical nursing and medical technology.

The removal of the power lines, that segmented the 16-acre site just north of the First United Methodist Church property on north highway 88, will also allow for better use of the property, NTC officials said. Architectural plans now call for orienting the campus diagonally with the main building facing southeast instead of facing parallel with State Highway 88.

This will allow better access and more entrances into the campus, NTC Public Information officer Gary Fox said.

Finalizing the full-time programs to be offered at the campus, has been a lengthy process. Surveys were sent out to area high school students, administrators, civic groups, members of business and industry, and NTC instructors, asking them to choose 10 programs out of a list that they thought should be offered out. Numbers were tallied and the top choices were identified. Since the new campus is only going to offer five, the work began, deciding which classes would best fit the needs and interests of those who would be directly affected.

“There were five main considerations we looked at in selecting the final five,” says new campus director Rick Reimer. “They were student interests, industry and community needs, high school vs adult options, certifications, and uniqueness. We wanted to offer something different, something that would be appealing as well as being needed.”

Reimer was appointed director of the campus in July 2006.

All five of the new programs chosen are in the top half of hourly wage rates for completers of full-time CareerTech programs. The three manufacturing/technology programs were featured in the CareerTechCurriculum Showcase for New and Innovative Programs.

“Because of their employee demand, NTC graduates should have no trouble finding good, high-paying jobs in these career fields,” Fox said.

The categories of the top survey choices fell into three main areas — manufacturing and technology, health care, and the arts. The final program selections are described as follows:

- Computer Automated Manufacturing will include the core studies of PLC/Robotics, Electronics, Hydraulics/Pneumatics, Print Reading, Welding, Machining, and Calibration, and Measurement. Successful completion of the course will allow for MSSC Certification.

- Computer Systems Integration, sometimes known as “smart home technology,” is being seen more and more in new home construction. Home owners are now using technology to be able to control their home’s environmental, security and entertainment systems room-to-room throughout the house, and often through the Internet. This course will teach students how to install and integrate network systems including computer, phone, video, security, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), home entertainment and home theater, www on-line surveillance, landscape systems, and cyber security systems. The technicians who are skilled at integrating these systems are in demand, especially in high-dollar homes, and graduates will complete with CompTIA HTI+ Certification. The course can be aligned with Best Buy and Comp USA internship programs.

- The Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program was developed in Arkansas and now is found in many states across the country. Combining software integration, computer technology, and on-line resources, the EAST program is project/problem-driven, meaning students often work in teams to solve real world problems. Whether it’s using GPS systems to identify possible helicopter landing pads in wooded areas, helping a city map and design its utilities infrastructure, or placing tornado warning sirens in a city, this creative program uses graphic design, websites, GIS/GPS systems, computer-aided design, digital animation, and music and video editing to help with problem-solving skill development and community involvement.

- Practical Nursing is one of the top large growth occupations as well as number two on the Oklahoma governor’s projected employment list. One only has to listen to the media to learn of the increasing need for health care professionals.

- Medical Technology is a health care program for the high school student. It is identical to the Health Careers Certification program offered at the Pryor Campus, but will feature different career pathways. It was felt that a different name at the Claremore Campus would help students keep the two programs straight and cut down on confusion when enrollment time came around. The new pathways offered at Claremore will include Sports Medicine, Medical Assistant, and Medical Lab Technician. Two benefits of this program include being a feeder from Claremore High School’s new Bio-Medical program, and a bridge into NTC’s Practical Nursing program.

Administrative teams have now visited other technology centers across the state that have these courses in place to see what is needed in terms of classroom and lab layout and design. Meetings with architects will insure that NTC’s new programs will be as modern and state-of-the-art as possible.

Because of the innovative and practical design of the new programs, the classroom and lab areas will also be conducive to offering advanced evening classes, as well.