SPRINGDALE -- Northwest Technical Institute has received verbal commitments to pay for the $10 million in estimated construction costs for a new medical building on the institute's campus, said Jim Rollins, institute president.
"It's incredible. It really is," said Kelly Johnson, institute board member.
Rollins shared the progress toward paying for the new building at the board of directors' quarterly meeting last week.
"On paper, we have about $10.5 million verbally committed to the project," he said.
Verbal commitments on funding construction include $5 million from the Excellerate Foundation, $2 million from the city of Springdale and $3.5 million from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Office for Skills Development, he said.
Springdale also has verbally committed $1 million toward sustainability for new medical education programs, Rollins said.
"All this is soft money, but city and state leaders support our proposal," Rollins said. "I can't emphasize enough that this isn't over until it's over or fully approved, but it is a positive announcement and represents excellent progress toward meeting our goal."
The proposed 50,000-square-foot building would be on the northwest corner of the institute's campus, where it would be visible from South Old Missouri Road. It would be the space for all health care classes and allow the institute to expand its offerings, according to administrators. Health care students currently share space with other programs in the nursing and main buildings.
The Excellerate Foundation also made a similar commitment to invest in medical education in November within the region.
The Springdale-based nonprofit group committed to fund a possible expansion of Northwest Arkansas Community College's Washington County campus to the tune of $6 million. The foundation invests in Northwest Arkansas' prosperity by supporting secondary education, health and well-being initiatives, as well as community building among the region's diverse residents, according to its website.
Northwest Arkansas Community College's Washington County location opened in 2020 and houses courses in general education, nursing, health information management, and emergency medical responder and emergency medical technician. It's also home to the college's high school concurrent program.
The plan for Northwest Technical Institute's medical building continues to emerge, Rollins said, adding that rising construction costs haven't affected the initial $10 million project estimate.
"We can build the building as designed," he said.
The institute offers several programs for high school students and adults, including industrial maintenance, diesel technology, nursing and information technology. The institute is state-funded, but also receives money through philanthropic giving, tuition and fees.