February 23, 2018
Sumner Campus spreading interest throughout the county
With construction on Cowley College’s Sumner Campus on track to open the Technical Center in the fall, the new campus is already having a major economic impact on Sumner County according to Stacy Davis, executive director of Sumner County Economic Development.
Speaking at Cowley College’s recent Board retreat, Davis said the county is seeing more interest from outside developers than it has experienced during the past 20 years.
Davis informed the Board that a new company was making plans to relocate to Caldwell, and the move could bring 150 new jobs or more to the community.
“Initially they were only bringing in their manufacturing side,” Davis said. “Now because we have the IT program with the campus, they are going to bring in their IT side.”
Davis then mentioned the new housing development that is being built behind the Wellington Walmart. Davis said due to this, developers from Wichita who would not even visit with her before now want to look at property.
“I met with a developer a month ago that will be signing on two parcels of property to bring in retail,” Davis said. “He also has a plan for the entire eastern corridor.”
Kelly Ford, the Executive Director of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, said members of Cowley College, including Sumner Campus operations officer Jan Grace, and president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, are always looking for ways to help the community.
“These two are mingling, networking, looking deep into the eyes of our citizens – both the movers and shakers and those who are still a bit cautious about their feeling regarding the new campus – truly assessing the climate of our community and then addressing the feedback head-on with its leaders,” Ford said.
Ford said all heads turn south when traveling east on 160, hopeful to catch a glimpse of the new campus, proving this project is progressing and promises are coming to life.
“It is evident that you have embraced our community with thoughtfulness and genuine excitement for our future, not only with the new campus, but with initiatives that help to sustain us and launch us into a secure future and put help Wellington back onto the map of Kansas,” Ford said. Cheri Hulse, architect for Agora Architecture, said construction of the new campus was on track and proceeding, with no major issues. She said the technology building is fully enclosed and the climate control systems are fully operational.
Following the opening of the Technical Center in the fall, the Short General Education Center is expected to open on the Sumner Campus in the fall of 2019.
“We are thankful for Cowley College’s investment in our community,” Ford said to those in attendance at the Board retreat. “We are proud of our partnership with Cowley. I know many of you have shed blood, sweat and tears with this new campus. It’s what’s building Wellington’s hopes and dreams.”