July 25, 2012
Story by Joe Vinduska
Photos by Brandon Steinert and Joe Vinduska
From new bathrooms to shiny, automatic sliding doors, Barton Community College’s Student Union has received multiple major renovations over the past several months and the public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony and enjoy refreshments at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 in the Student Union.
The union has never been remodeled since its construction in 1972. The list of renovations include the following: completely remodeled bathrooms, automatic sliding glass doors on the north entryway, new tile upstairs and in the bookstore, dining area in the bookstore, a remodel of the cafeteria including new tables and chairs for the dining area and closed-circuit flat-screen televisions, the crow’s nest area received computers and plush seating and various areas received new windows, carpet and paint.
The remodeling project was paid for by funds from the Barton Foundation, which were matched by the college at a total of approximately $200,000. A majority of the Foundation’s portion were part of an estate that was donated to the college by longtime Great Bend resident Theodore F. Deal.
Barton’s Director of Institutional Advancement Darnell Holopirek said she never got a chance to speak with Deal and was not aware that they would be receiving the gift until after Deal passed in 2003. However, she spoke with Deal’s niece who told her that Deal believed everybody deserves an opportunity to pursue an education and that he felt Barton was a great asset to community, and for those reasons he would be leaving part of his estate to the college as an unrestricted gift.
“I think he would be very pleased to see what was made possible because of his gift,” she said. “I just wish I had a chance to talk to Mr. Deal and thank him. It is very warm and inviting, and it’s a great thing that the students can enjoy on a daily basis.”
Holopirek said the renovations are a benefit to the college and community as well.
“It’s a fantastic recruitment tool, and anytime you have potential students on campus, the Union is one place you’ll end up going to, and we can really be proud of the building,” she said. “Also, community members that come to events or parents of students that are on campus for whatever reason can also enjoy all of the upgrades.”
In addition to the ribbon cutting, Barton’s Natural Gas program will showcase its new portable Gas Measurement Mobile Training Unit. The twenty-eight foot enclosed trailer houses training equipment that will be utilized to train emergent workers in the industry. The trailer was received through grant funding by state of Kansas. Instructors will be on hand to give demonstrations of the types of training that can be administered using the state of the art equipment.