The District Board of Trustees of Okaloosa-Walton College met May 12 and approved the award of a construction contract for the Community Services Complex to be built on the Niceville campus to Speegle Construction, Inc. of Niceville in the amount of $30,674,000. The college received competitive bids from nine separate firms for the project.
Construction of the Community Services Complex that will double as a state-of-the-art hurricane shelter is expected to begin in June, 2008 with anticipated completion of the complex by July 2010. The joint use facility, which will be located on the southwestern portion of the college's Niceville campus, will house Okaloosa County's Emergency Operations Center, various OWC instructional programs such as ROTC, and a new athletic arena.
The complex will include an arena seating approximately 2,400 that will become the college's main venue for basketball and major assemblies; an Okaloosa County Public Safety building to support county staff who manage emergencies and 911 public safety communications, including dispatch for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), fire and police; and classroom facilities to house OWC military science/ROTC programs, a new college Wellness Center and other instructional spaces. During emergency use of the complex, classroom spaces are designed to provide sleeping, relief and resting accommodations for emergency personnel. The design team for the complex is Sam Marshall Architects of Pensacola and Orcutt Consulting of Maine, the same team who previously worked on the OWC Robert E. Greene Science Building, the Learning Resources Center, observatory, a master plan for the Niceville campus and the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.
In other action, trustees also approved advertisement for architectural services for a new Student Services building on the Niceville campus. The next meeting of the OWC District Board of Trustees is June 10 at 6:30 pm in the community gallery of building K, the College Mall.