A new agriculture building at Colby Community College moved closer to reality Wednesday when the college was awarded $1,843,594 from the state budget signed by Gov. Laura Kelly. The funds are part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

"Colby Community College is so grateful to receive this funding opportunity," said CCC President Dr. Seth Carter. "This facility will allow the college to create new training opportunities and better serve northwest Kansas and the state of Kansas as a whole. CCC wants to extend a special thank you to Governor Kelly, Senator Rick Billinger, and Ms. Heather Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, for their tireless work and efforts to advance this project and make it a funding priority."

CCC has focused on expanding its agricultural offerings and placed a renewed emphasis on providing training opportunities that serve the region. Nearly 9,000 feet of fence was installed at the college farm in addition to hauling in several thousand square feet of dirt to resolve long-standing drainage problems. In January, the college received a Department of Education Rural Postsecondary Economic Development grant for more than $1.23 million that will be used to strengthen higher education credentials among rural students. The grant will help develop additional agriculture certificates and tracks, enhance remote student learning, and hire additional ag faculty.

The new building will be constructed on campus near the existing Stanley Carr Agriculture Center, which is scheduled for renovation. The additional ag building is anticipated to be a 10,000 square-foot facility that houses all current and proposed ag-related programs.