NPC Breaks Ground On Marine Technology Building
National Park College (NPC) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Marine Technology
The NPC Marine Repair Technology program is the only one of its kind in the region. This 7,500 square foot facility will triple the current size of the program’s workspace. It will be 60 feet deep and 125 feet in length with four 25 x 60 foot bays. A classroom, office space and storage space will be included in the building with room to expand.
Marine instructor Delmar Hunter said the building would be a tremendous boost for the program. “This industry desperately needs this program. We are hopeful that this new facility and the exposure from it will bring in students to fill the jobs our partners need.” Hunter said he gets calls from employers in states all around Arkansas that need marine repair technicians.
The project is part of phase one of the campus master plan which also includes construction of the Student Commons building and a new entrance from Mountain Pine Road. The Hospitality and Tourism Program will relocate to the first floor of the Gerald Fisher Campus Center. The Innovative Technologies Center will be relocated to campus. The makerspace will be housed in the Gerald Fisher Campus Center and the industrial equipment will be housed in the current Marine shop.
NPC President, Dr. John Hogan expressed gratitude to all of the industry partners who support the Marine Repair Program including: Yamaha, Mercury, BRP, Volvo Penta, Xpress/Veranda, Aloha Pontoons, Trader Bill’s, Futrell Marine, Orr Marine, Ouachita Marine, and Mountain Harbor. “We have had outstanding support from all of our industry partners,” said Hogan. “This facility will be the only one of its kind in the state of Arkansas and one of very few in the United States.”
“All of this is about, for NPC, moving the attainment needle, getting credentials and degrees in students hands so they can earn money, help companies be more profitable, help our community continue to grow and improve our quality of life,” Hogan added.
NPC Board of Trustees Chair, Forrest Spicher said, “One of the passions for the area for me is to increase economic development and it starts with education, no question about it. The economic development aspect is to expand and retain business in the area and at the same time, retain and attract young people that have a skill to the area.”
Spicher spoke about his time growing up in Hot Springs and how important the area lakes are for many people. “I have been on the lakes and streams my entire life and it only makes sense that Marine Technology be a part of the educational delivery system for National Park College.”
Pictured left to right are Forrest Spicher, Mike Bush, Raymond Wright, John Hogan, Brian Hill, Delmar Hunter, John McMoran, Beverly Joe, Don Harris, Joyce Craft, Gail Ezelle, and Jim Hale.