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State Tech hires director for developing entertainment venue

by Ryan Pivoney | June 25, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Renee Braun

State Technical College of Missouri has hired a director for its $11.4 million entertainment complex as campus construction continues to evolve.

Renee Braun, the vice president of operations at JMS Senior Living for the past seven years, will direct the 30,000-square-foot "mecca for entertainment" that is replacing the former Osage Country Club clubhouse.

Braun is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri. Prior to her leadership role at JMS Senior Living, she spent nearly 15 years in sales and marketing at television KRCG.

"I am just so excited to get started and join the State Tech team," Braun said in a State Tech news release. "The college has seen tremendous growth over the past several years, and I am confident that the addition of the Event and Entertainment Center will add to a positive student experience, as well as provide a benefit to the community and the surrounding area. I am very intrigued with the opportunity to be part of something as unique and impactful as this."

State Tech's new multipurpose event and entertainment center will feature a pro shop, sports bar and restaurant, e-sports center, three golf simulators, 50-seat theater and four lanes of duckpin bowling. On a second level will be a 300-seat event center overlooking the golf course and water. Outside the building will be a pool and large patio with fire pits and outdoor games.

Brandon McElwain, a spokesperson for State Tech, said construction of the entertainment center is scheduled to be complete next year, either in May or August.

"We've got our director in place to kind of start getting stuff moving," he said.

The entertainment center is located next to State Tech's Commercial Turf and Grounds Center, where construction is nearing completion.

The Commercial Turf and Grounds Center will house the technical college's turf and grounds academic program with classrooms, labs and a greenhouse. Attached to the back of the building will be a 10-bay driving range with high-speed cameras to provide instantaneous ball tracking to golfers.

McElwain said students will begin using the facility in August. The public opening of the driving range is expected to be in late August.

State Tech President Shawn Strong said the two new facilities will help the college continue to grow its student population and Missouri's skilled workforce.

State Tech's enrollment has grown more than 60 percent since 2016 and reached more than 2,000 students last fall.

Strong has said finding activities for students to do in Linn is a challenge, but the new offerings at State Tech are a comprehensive answer.

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