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Community College Offers Expanded Programs in Taney County

HOLLISTER, Mo. -- The new Ozark Technical Community College is officially open in Hollister.
HOLLISTER, Mo. -- Class is in session at Ozarks Technical Community College's new Table Rock campus.

In the bustling student lounge on the first floor of the new facility, Tyler Laughner sat and worked at his computer.

Laughner, who decided to take prerequisites for a psychology major, said what he likes most about the new facility is the accessibility.

"It's nice to have a view," he said, referring to the overlook at the top of a hill near Hwy. 165. "And a place you can call your own."

His commute will take him slightly further from home than his previous trip to Branson last year, as new facility replaces the school's location in Branson, Mo. and the nursing school in Reeds Spring, Mo.

Hollister residents voted to support the school through a tax levy in hopes of adding more opportunities for workforce development in the area.

That's why Raeanne Presley, the mayor of Branson, voiced her support during the school's opening ceremony on Tuesday.

"Technical skills are very much needed in our community," she explained. "To be able to train up new employees for our businesses in Branson and Hollister is a big plus."

Many area students, such as Nichole Caldron, could not have gone to college without the prior OTC facility, and would have had to drive to Springfield to take care of other classes.

"In the beginning when I was just starting out," Caldron said. "It definitely was not something I could have done."
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