MULVANE — With intentions of transforming Cowley College’s Mulvane Center and Bloomenshine Building into a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) center, the college recently conducted successful negotiations with the Mulvane Public School District, permitting Cowley College full access to the facility.

Cowley College has conducted classes in the upper level of the building since 2005. This agreement will allow the college to have two additional classrooms and office space in the basement of the facility. Also included is street front parking.

To celebrate the successful negotiations, members of Cowley College’s Administrative Council assembled June 21 for their biweekly meeting at the Bloomenshine Building in Mulvane.

Cowley College President Dennis Rittle and other Cowley administrators worked with the USD 263 Board of Education to gain its support. Brad Rahe, superintendent of Mulvane schools, was instrumental in helping Cowley to gain full access to the Bloomenshine facility.

“I thank Dr. Rahe and the school board for granting us full access to the building, as well as the parking in front,” Rittle said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Rahe and the school board to bring this journey to the next chapter in our relationship, where we have a learning center that meets the needs of the students, workforce and community.”

Rahe said the opportunity to grant the college full access to the Bloomenshine facility arose recently.

“This is a positive opportunity for everyone in Mulvane,” he said. “The more classes you can offer, the better it is for our students in the community.”

Cowley College currently leases the Mulvane Center and Bloomenshine Building.

Michelle Schoon, Cowley College’s Natural Sciences Department chair, said the Mulvane Center traditionally has been strong in the math and science areas, and this additional space to use for instruction will strengthen class offerings in the Mulvane area.

“We hope to be able to offer some new programs and to improve services to our students,” Schoon said.

When Chad Killblane began teaching at the Bloomenshine Building in 2011, he said he wondered why the college shared the basement of its facility with another organization.

“It often led to confusion and parking issues,” Killblane said. “It always seemed crazy that we could not park in front of a building with our name on it. Now we have full access to our building and its parking. It is a breath of fresh air. More so, it feels as if things are taking a very positive turn and I am excited for the future.”

Julia Jarboe, administrative assistant at the Mulvane Center, said she is excited to see what changes are in store for the Bloomenshine Building.

“Having the two new classrooms and office space will provide a greater opportunity for growth and to reach our full potential here in Mulvane,” Jarboe said.

Jan Grace, campus operations officer for Cowley College in Sumner County, said this development shows Cowley College still is showing its commitment to the Mulvane community.

“Cowley College is always looking for more community projects we can do with Mulvane,” Grace said.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.