North Arkansas College opens campus in Berryville

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Berryville Chamber of Commerce members Shane Stracner, Jason Williams, Linda Moore and Donna Parton (white shirts, center front) presided over an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new North Arkansas College Carroll County Center in Berryville on Friday. Surrounding the chamber members were community well-wishers, college staffers and state legislators Senator Randy Laverty and Representative Bryan King.

BERRYVILLE -- A large crowd of well-wishers turned out for an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at the new North Arkansas College campus in Berryville on Friday.

Known as the Carroll County Center, it is an extension of Northark, located in Bobcat Plaza, near the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 62 and West Freeman Avenue.

According to Northark President Dr. Jeff Olson, the new facility offers education expansion opportunities.

Not only are there new classrooms for adult education and GED classes that have been offered in Berryville for some time, college credit courses are now available as well, he said, which is extremely important in today's world of high gas prices.

"It saves a drive to Harrison," he explained.

Olson extended his thanks to state Senator Randy Laverty, who authored a bill that made funding possible for the corner unit at Bobcat Plaza.

Laverty, when addressing the crowd, said it was a great day for Berryville, the community and the college to see the facility completed.

He said it was a wonderful opportunity for young people and adults to attend school in their hometown area and receive college credits.

"Kids want to go to school at home if they can," he said.

Two of his children attended Northark, Laverty said, a college that offers associate degrees or transferable credits. He extended thanks to his legislative counterparts who helped pass the funding bill, and said, "I am proud to play a small role."

Also recognized for his help in getting the center up and going was state Representative Bryan King, who spoke a few words, saying he and his brother attended Northark and appreciated the personal attention they received. He praised the school for its agricultural department with its four-year degree program, and concluded by saying, "I'm fortunate to be a part of this. It's a great asset to Carroll County."

Following an official ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Berryville Chamber of Commerce, guests were invited inside to tour the new facility.

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