During the 2018-19 academic year, Manhattan Area Technical College had a dream of expansion. The dream was sparked during a conversation at the Regional Leaders Retreat between employees of Bluestem Electric Cooperative in Wamego and the president of Manhattan Tech. With Bluestem moving to its new location, still in Wamego, the opportunity to obtain and utilize the old location conveniently located near the Wamego High School with the goal to provide career and technical education in the community could be a reality.
State data shows that a significant growth area of the state is on Highway 24 from Manhattan east to Wamego and then further east to Topeka. Both school enrollment and general population projections reinforced the viability of providing a technical education site in Wamego. Through discussions with Wamego, Rock Creek, St. Mary’s, and Alma school districts it was determined that the potential engagement of students at a Manhattan Tech center in Wamego held many possibilities.
The Board of Directors for the College supported the effort for administrators to seek funding options to acquire the Bluestem property as well as phase one renovation costs IF the property could be purchased. The College arranged financing and purchased the existing Bluestem site, and began renovations in early 2020. While the pandemic slowed down renovation projects and initial opening enrollment, the Center did officially to student in the fall of 2020.
The main building has been renovated for office space, all-purpose classrooms, and testing capabilities. The building to the north of the main building has been partially renovated and currently offers courses in certified nurse assistant and emergency medical technician training. Science labs, auto technology instruction capabilities, and additional classroom/community meeting space is already being developed to complete the renovations to that facility.
The rest of the current facilities will be renovated in 2021-22 to include welding, electrician training, construction technology, and more. Classes will be offered at the center, at some of the area high schools, online, and in hybrid format with the main campus and operations of the college remaining in Manhattan. Students will be able to complete many general education requirements as well as introductory workforce training in essential occupation career areas needed in the region. Planning discussions are occurring towards potential expansion of additional educational opportunities to include CDL and diesel mechanics training.
For more information on courses and educational opportunities please contact: https://manhattantech.edu/contact-us
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