CASSVILLE, MO. -- More than $2 million dollars has gone toward boosting higher education in Barry County. Crowder College cut the ribbon on a big expansion on Friday.
"I love it," Student Avery Cook said.
Cook and other students are giving their new space an "A plus."
"Students feel like they're really getting more of the real college experience," Lead Instructor for the Communications Department Mary Rogers said.
While introducing the community to the new expansion, Crowder also celebrated 20 years as a part of the Cassville community.
"We were always kind of crunched for space and when we get those classes where we have a very popular class or a really popular program, we get too many students in a class and it was really hard," Campus Director Angela Seymour said.
The project added about 5,500 square feet to the campus, adding more classroom space for students, but also more security.
"One main entrance, students aren't coming in a bunch of different doors," Seymour said.
What was three separate buildings is now one facility. The project also made more room for one of the college's most successful programs.
"This is big for the nursing program, so we can continue to grow and provide that quality education," Nursing Program Coordinator Kim Smith said.
The nursing simulation lab has doubled in size.
"A simulation provides a safe experience for students to come in and care for patients," Smith said.
Campus leaders say it's all about providing quality education for students in rural Barry County.
"We are really about an hour from every university," Seymour said.
Seymour says it's a big benefit for not only local families, but the entire community.
"Take someone local who's been a phenomenal person in the community and then help them get the education they need to stay in that community and be a part of that community. It's a blessing to be a part of that," Seymour said.
State funding covered about $1.3 million of the expansion. Community support along with Crowder College pitched paid for the rest of the project.