Missouri Governor Mike Parson will help dedicate the new St. Charles Community College agriculture and food science building at its Dardenne Creek Campus, 1 Academy Place in Dardenne Prairie, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The building, previously a gym, has been transformed into a space that features a bakery, test kitchen, commercial kitchen and brewing lab and will house future credit programs in culinary arts, brewing science and nutrition. The current agriculture program will also utilize the building and surrounding fields for crop research and development.
After purchasing the Dardenne Creek Campus in 2017, the College recognized the opportunity to create something very unique and innovative in this space, according to Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D., SCC president. “Not long after moving in, we recognized that we could do something very unique and innovative by creating a new culinary arts and agriculture program and then merging this with nursing and allied health to create more than just course offerings– but to become a real center for healthy living in St. Charles County.”
The new remodeled space is expected to represent an opportunity for students to make connections between food, health and sustainability, while advancing their educational and career goals.
The agriculture and food science building will serve students and the community through traditional credit courses, short-term training classes and non-credit courses, such as organic gardening, topic-specific cooking classes and youth programs through SCC’s Continuing Education Department. The surrounding fields will be used for growing a variety of plants for use in the culinary credit programs and will be used for demonstration and analysis by SCC’s agriculture program.
“This space will allow SCC to prepare more students to enter high-demand and critically needed jobs in healthcare, agriculture and food science,” said Amy Koehler, Provost of the Dardenne Creek Campus. “Through creative and inventive programing, as well as support from our partners in the community and business and industry, these efforts will contribute to the health and well-being of our region.”
The project was partially funded through Missouri’s MoExcels Workforce Initiative, which funds the development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs and initiatives to substantially increase educational attainment.