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1.000 Foreword

1.100 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy

1.200 History of National Park Community College

1.300 Mission

1.200 History of National Park Community College


Policy Number: 1.200 

Subject: History of National Park Community College

Date Adopted: August 27, 2003

National Park Community College was established by Act 678 of 2003 which authorized the merger of Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute. The following is the history of each institution:

Garland County Community College was established by the voters of the College District in a special election on July 17, 1973. Garland County was the first county in the State to establish a public community college under Act 103 of the 1973 General Assembly. The Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce designated a committee to coordinate the process of establishing the institution and holding the special election. The committee was chaired by local attorney, Don Schnipper. Other members of the executive committee were Doris Cammack, Rena Walters, Les Green, and Darrell Smith. Members at large were: W. Clarence Nolen, Dr. T. J. Collier, Fred B. Blagg, William J. Lane, Bessie Mae Elcan, Ann Packer, Gladys Watts, John L. Kauffman, Harley Sexton, Francelle Ledford, I. L. Stivers, W. T. Couch, Pat Smith, Mr. and Mrs. "Red" Confer, William B. James, William McCuen, Don Harris, Larry Elledge, Larry Ault, Jim Jett, Gerald Ferlin, Dan McCraw, Ken Hardister, Elizabeth Whitlow, and Reverend Rufus O'Neal.

AUGUST 2, 1973 - The Board of Trustees met for the first time in the conference room of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce. Original Board of Trustee members were appointed by Arkansas Governor Dale Bumpers and sworn in by Judge James W. Chesnutt. (See Appendix B.) Officers were elected (Appendix B) and a Presidential Search Committee formed. Search Committee members were Charles White, Herb Reamey, and Alroy Puckett.

AUGUST 6, 1973 - The Board of Trustees selected Dr. Gerald Homer Fisher, Superintendent of Hot Springs Schools, as the first President of the College.

AUGUST 14, 1973 - The Board of Trustees approved the first administrative staff members, and faculty hiring began.

OCTOBER 1, 1973 - Garland County Community College began classes following registration, September 20. The first student to complete registration was Mrs. Evelyn Marie Fagan. Offices of the College were established in St. Gabriel's School, 220 Silver Street, and later moved to the First Federal Building, Central and Bridge Streets, while retaining St. Gabriel's for classrooms.

OCTOBER 23, 1973 - The Board appointed a Site Selection Committee to begin seeking a permanent campus location. Board member Gene Parker was appointed chairperson. Members were Alroy Puckett, Charles White, William Southard, and Mrs. R. Guinn Daniel.

FEBRUARY 19, 1974 - The Board of Trustees entered into an agreement with the Garland County Industrial Development Corporation for site acquisition in the proposed Mid-America Park area, west of Hot Springs.

MARCH 19, 1974 - The firm of Cromwell, Neyland, Truemper, Millett, and Gatchell, of Little Rock, were commissioned to design the College campus.

APRIL 16, 1974 - The Board of Trustees entered into an agreement with the First Methodist Church, Central and Orange Streets, to use classroom space in the educational wing of the church. The expansion was due to increased enrollment.

APRIL 21, 1975 - The College became a candidate for accreditation by North Central Association.

APRIL 22, 1975 - The Board appointed a Building Committee. Gene Parker was named chairperson, and the following members were selected to serve on the committee: Charles White, William Southard, and I. L. Stivers. The Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land in Mid-America Park for the campus.

DECEMBER 4, 1975 - The construction contract was awarded to Hill & Cox Construction Company of Hot Springs.

JANUARY, 1976 - The College moved to Mid-America Park Campus.

JUNE 22, 1976 - The Board traded 21.33 acres of land, in Mid-America Park, with the Arkansas Museum and Cultural Commission.

APRIL 24, 1977 - Mid-America Park campus was officially dedicated. The dedication address was made by United States Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt.

JANUARY, 1979 - Construction was completed on a College field house, athletic field, and tennis courts.

APRIL, 1981 - Accreditation by the North Central Association.

AUGUST, 1984 - Construction was completed on the Health Sciences Building.

MARCH, 1988 - Construction was completed on five classrooms in the Gymnasium Complex.

JANUARY, 1989 - Construction was completed on five classrooms in the Liberal Arts Building.

FEBRUARY, 1992 - North Central Association of Colleges and Schools continued accreditation of Garland County Community College until the years 2001-02.

MAY, 1993 - Woolridge Construction Company was awarded the bid for construction of the Gerald H. Fisher Campus Center, designed by Arnold and Stacks Architects.

JUNE, 1994 - Retirement of Dr. Gerald H. Fisher, founding President of Garland County Community College.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1994 - Dr. Tom Spencer was employed as College President.

MAY 20, 1995 - Gerald H. Fisher Campus Center was officially dedicated with keynote speakers United States Senator Dale Bumpers and Governor Jim Guy Tucker.

JANUARY, 1998 - Renovation complete on Computer Center in the former Administration Building.

AUGUST, 1998 - Food service available in the Student Center.

NOVEMBER, 1998 - Purchase of two parcels of land (29.44 and 4.19 acres) contiguous to the campus.

JANUARY, 1999 - Purchase of Mid America Amphitheater and approximately 12 acres of land.

AUGUST, 2000 - Construction completed on Business and Math/Science faculty office building by Southeast Building Concepts; Architects Taylor and Kempkes.

AUGUST, 2000 - Construction completed on Health Science faculty office building by Southeast Building Concepts; Architects Taylor and Kempkes.

JANUARY, 2002 - Dr. Edward L. Franklin completed the "Report on the Feasibility of a Merger between Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute."

Quapaw Vocational Technical School was authorized by Arkansas State Board of Vocational Education in March, 1973. It was the 24th Vocational Technical School in Arkansas and was formerly a branch of the Ouachita Vocational Technical School in Malvern.

DECEMBER, 1969 - Authorized as a branch of Ouachita Vocational Technical School.

AUGUST, 1970 - Facility at Hot Springs Branch opened with 35 Licensed Practical Nursing students.

MARCH, 1973 - Act 310 stipulated the Hot Springs Branch of the Vocational Technical School at Malvern be operated as a separate school and be named Quapaw Vocational Technical School.

JULY 3, 1973 - John L. Kaufman was the first Director of Quapaw Vocational Technical School. He served until August, 1977. Dr. Sally Carder became Director July 1, 2000 until June 30, 2003.

SEPTEMBER, 1977 - Hugh Cheek served as Director until December, 1987.

JANUARY, 1978- New facilities constructed at a cost of $1,250,000 on 28 acres of land donated by Garland County Industrial Development Commission.

JANUARY, 1986 - An Auto Body and Welding Program building of approximately 6,400 square feet and a Business Education and Adult Education classroom building of approximately 3,600 square feet were completed at a total cost of $449,900.

JANUARY, 1988 - Ronald W. Moore served as Interim Director until March, 1988.

APRIL, 1988 - Ralph Pinkerton served as Director until June, 2000.

JULY, 1991 - As a result of Act 1244 and Act 773 of 1991, the State Board of Vocational Education, now known as the Department of Workforce Education, officially changed the name to Quapaw Technical Institute.

JULY, 2000 - Dr. Sally Carder served as Director through June 30, 2003.

JANUARY, 2002 - Dr. Edward L. Franklin completed the "Report on the Feasibility of a Merger between Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute."

NATIONAL PARK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

JULY, 2003 – Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute merged and changed the name to National Park Community College.

JUNE, 2005 – Dr. Tom Spencer retired.

JULY, 2005 – Dr. Sally Carder became the third president of National Park Community College.

AUGUST, 2006 – Completion of new Lab Science Building.

JANUARY, 2007 – Completion of remodeling of Math and Science Building.