View Full Version : Francis Tuttle to have $40 million expansion

11-24-2008, 07:39 AM
Francis Tuttle to begin Rockwell 2010 construction
by David Page
The Journal Record November 24, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY – Francis Tuttle Technology Center plans to begin construction soon on the first phase of a $40 million expansion project at its main campus at 12777 N. Rockwell Ave.

The construction project – known as Rockwell 2010 – was developed to meet projected demands in three strategic areas – culinary and hospitality, business and industry services and health science.Providing additional space and facilities for the three strategic areas will connect the main building at Francis Tuttle with two building on the west side of the campus.
“This will change the whole atmosphere of our campus,” said Kay Martin, CEO and superintendent.

Initial work, or the first phase, of the project will provide additional infrastructure, including sanitary and storm sewers and electrical, said J. Bruce Campbell, chief administrative officer, administration.

The next phase of the project will be the addition of 43,000 square feet for business and industry services followed by construction of 87,000 square feet of new space for culinary and hospitality. The final phase will be 24,000 square feet of new construction for health sciences.

The projects will basically develop the 35 to 40 acres on the west side of the 80-acre Rockwell campus, Campbell said. Francis Tuttle has two other campuses – the Portland campus at 3500 NW 150th St. and the Reno campus at7301 W. Reno Ave.

Rockwell 2010 is the result of a master plan developed for the main campus. All of the projects are expected to begin either before 2010 or in 2010 but are not expected to be completed by the end of 2010, Campbell said.
“We have been working on a master plan for the Rockwell campus because we knew the district is posed for a great deal of growth,” he said.

The three project areas – culinary and hospitality, business and industry services and health sciences – were selected to respond to labor demands from industry and the needs of students.

“One of the things that drove the Reno campus was industry telling us what they needed,” Martin said. “We are doing the same thing with business and industry, culinary and health services on the main campus. We are letting business and industry tell us what they need.”

Financing for the projects will be provided from the annual 5 mill building fund levy allocated to Francis Tuttle Technology Center. At least $10 million of the costs will come directly from the building fund budget with the remaining financed with up to $30 million though a lease-purchase note expected to be repaid in 12 years from the building fund.

The borrowings are expected to be divided into three $10 million loans with the first loan expected to be completed by the end of the month. Borrowing money will accelerate the projects.

Francis Tuttle officials re-evaluated the timing of the projects after the economic downturn and decided the crisis might provide savings on construction costs and interest rates.

“We may be able to get in under the $40 million budget or we may be able to do more,” Campbell said.

Taxpayers may receive greater value for each dollar spent on the project due lower prices for commodity prices and increased competition among contractors.

“We think we will get a lot for our dollars,” Martin said.
Each phase of the project will be competitively bid. Bockus Payne Associates Architects of Oklahoma City will be the construction manager.

The culinary and hospitality expansion will include six kitchens and a teaching restaurant open to the public. The design will allow the addition of four additional kitchens as needed.

“This is an industry that is not going away,” Campbell said. “It is more than restaurants.”

Other areas include nursing homes and hospitals.
The culinary addition will also include a common area for all Francis Tuttle students and the campus cafeteria.

Currently Francis Tuttle has capacity for 66 culinary and hospitality students. With the addition there will be facilities for 160 additional students.
The new area for business and industry services will include three industry training shop areas, a business resource center and meeting and training rooms on the first floor. One training shop will be dedicated to safety training. The second floor will have offices and conference rooms.
“Last year the business and industry staff worked with more than 500 core businesses and did additional training for other businesses,” Martin said.
The new facilities will allow expanded business and industry training.
“We have been hampered by not having enough space,” she said.

Expansion of health services facilities is a response to projected industry work force shortages in Oklahoma’s Health Care Industry Workforce 2006 and other reports.

“We have a growth target of being able to train up to 248 more students in health care,” Campbell said. “This is our highest demand area from students and industry.”

In addition to the 24,000 square space of new construction, other areas in the main building will be allocated to health sciences as space becomes available because of the other construction projects.

Francis Tuttle’s health sciences training includes clinical work in area medical facilities. A shortage of clinical opportunities for students is another barrier to training.

“We could provide more student opportunities if we had more clinical opportunities,” Martin said.