PITTSBURG — The Kansas Technology Center opened its doors to students, faculty and staff 20 years ago after over a decade of planning and fundraising.

Pittsburg State University staff and students, along with community members, gathered Tuesday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 286,000 square foot building — approximately two football fields long.

KTC was filled with students and business representatives Tuesday for the first day of the College of Technology’s Company Days. While it was a busy time, Dean of the College of Technology Tim Dawsey said it seemed fitting to celebrate the anniversary during such a bustling event.

“Businesses are connecting with our students today to build relationships leading to internships and full-time careers, as well as see this amazing facility we’re celebrating,” Dawsey said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard today ‘you won’t find this anywhere else.’”

The facility includes $26 million worth of equipment available to students, 260 workstations, 70 technical laboratories and more. Students studying automotive technology, engineering technology, technology management and more make use of the building.

The floors are designed to accommodate a loaded forklift, and overhead doors allow for a 10-wheeler tractor to be brought directly into the classroom. These are only some of the features available to further the learning of students at PSU through KTC.

Provost Dr. Lynette Olson is the academic head at Pitt State. She said few things have really advanced the university's academics like the Kansas Technology Center.

PSU President Dr. Steve Scott spoke about the history of the building, including help from people like former PSU President Donald Wilson, Former State Representative and Board of Regents Chair Ed McKechnie and Former Governor Bill Graves. Scott had the opportunity to turn dirt at the KTC groundbreaking ceremony in 1995, when he was still a faculty member at PSU.

Scott said he takes pride in the fact that institutions look to KTC when they look at building technology centers, but that the building alone isn’t what has contributed its success.

“It’s not just the building,” Scott said. “It’s the wonderful faculty and staff that work within these walls.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.