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Pulaski Tech officials purchase Little Rock Expo Center property
Pulaski Technical College officials closed Feb. 7 on the purchase of the Little Rock Expo Center, located at 13000 Interstate 30 in southwest Little Rock, for development of a transportation technology training center and space for expanded course offerings.
The college purchased the property, which contains 153,600 square feet, 16.47 acres and 1,282 parking spaces, from American Park 'n Swap for $4.2 million. Also included in the purchase was an adjoining plot of 6.4 acres.
The Pulaski Tech Board of Trustees also has approved plans to negotiate the purchase of a building at 8901 Kanis Road in Little Rock that the college leased with an option to purchase and opened in fall 2004 with courses ranging from English to mathematics.
The two purchases and subsequent renovation of the facilities will be financed with proceeds from the issuance of $15 million in revenue bonds backed by student tuition and fees.
John E. Barnes, chairman of the Pulaski Tech Board of Trustees, said the two Little Rock locations will greatly assist the college in meeting the needs of its service area, which includes all of Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Faulkner counties.
"Accessibility is an important part of the mission of a comprehensive two-year college," Barnes said. "Right now, the classrooms and labs on our main campus in North Little Rock are filled to capacity. These additional sites will enable us to better serve the local transportation and automotive industries and to offer continuing professional education programs for those seeking certification and recertification. We are excited about the opportunities we have to grow in response to the needs of the community."
Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president, said the transportation technology training center will house programs in automotive technology, diesel mechanics technology and collision repair technology, which will relocate from the North Little Rock campus. In addition, the college plans to offer a new program in motorcycle/all-terrain vehicle technology.
Pulaski Tech is the largest community/technical college in the state with 7,947 students enrolled this spring and an annual growth rate of 18 percent.