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New look, new name at tech school





The local technical college with campuses in Hays and Beloit will begin the school year with a new look and under new leadership.

North Central Kansas Technical College announced last week that from now on it will be answering to NCK Tech, with the tagline "Hands-On Skills. High-Tech Careers."

The large sign at Hays' main campus on Wheatland Avenue just east of HaysMed has been changed and sports the new logo with a new color scheme, as does the one at the Big Creek Technology Center on South Main.

New signage is up in Beloit as well, just in time for the start of classes Monday.

Another change is who occupies the head office in Beloit as Eric Burks took over as president in May after Clark Coco went to Washburn Institute of Technology in Topeka.

Burks especially appreciates the shortened name for the school.

"Dean of instructional services at North Central Kansas Technical College was a mouthful," said Burks, who had spent three years in that capacity before being promoted after Coco's departure.

"We will (promote) the same collegiate image," Burks said. "We are still North Central Kansas Technical College. We just have a new coat of paint."

Don Benjamin, dean of the Hays campus, said the change has been met positively by his staff.

"It's what I call a feel-good change," he said. "Some of our faculty and staff had been leery of our (former) emblem. So this is kind of a re-brand, getting a little more modern with it."

NCK Tech serves more than 625 full-time students in more than 20 programs, including more than a dozen in Hays -- as well as several short-term courses.

Both locations, in Beloit and Hays, will feature something new in their programming this year.

Beloit has added business management to its curriculum, while Hays' carpentry/cabinetmaking program will build a house on campus for the first time since the mid-1980s.