This is some content.
Hutchinson Community College campus photo


Click to print pdf

History of the College

Effective Date: August 11, 2016
Policy Number: 1318

In the spring of 1928, Hutchinson voters approved the establishment of a two-year co-educational college to be known as the Hutchinson Junior College. The college held its first classes that fall. Enrollment was 187 students – 172 freshmen, 15 sophomores. Classes were held on the second and third floors of a newly constructed addition to Hutchinson High School at Seventh and Walnut.

In February 1938, the Board of Education acquired land on Plum Street and built Lockman Hall. Since then, a technical education building, athletic field, stadium, tennis courts, maintenance and warehouse buildings, a student union with two additions, two residence halls, a library, science building, fine arts building and an athletic complex have been added to the campus. The college also utilizes the Hutchinson Sports Arena, providing maintenance of the building in exchange for its use.

On July 1, 1965, the college's name was changed to Hutchinson Community Junior College and governance was transferred to an elected board of trustees. The name was changed again in 1980 to Hutchinson Community College.

In 1966, the John F. Kennedy Library and Kopke Science Hall were completed.

In the fall of 1967, Elland Hall and Kent Hall, residence halls for men and women were opened.

In April 1970, the college acquired 425 acres of land and buildings from the Hutchinson Air National Guard. They are used primarily for agricultural, emergency medical science, fire science, building construction and technical education courses. This location is called South Campus.

A wing was added to Lockman Hall in 1975. The college acquired Davis Hall (Ninth and Walnut) from Hutchinson Hospital Corporation in 1980. It is used for allied health curricula, Radio Kansas (HCC's public radio station), Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Kansas Small Mine Safety and Occupational Safety.

Stringer Fine Arts Center was opened in January of 1989.

On July 1, 1993, HCC merged with the local vocational school and was renamed Hutchinson Community College and Area Vocational School.  The and Area Vocational School was removed from the name in 2012.

Another major addition to the Parker Student Union was completed in 1996.

In 1999 the college built the Shears Technology Center, which houses vocational programs and technical labs.

On April 27, 2003, after major renovation, the library was renamed the Rimmer Learning Resource Center, after John Rimmer, chairman of HUBCO and a major contributor to the college.

In the fall of 2006, a renovated Gowans Stadium was reopened for use. The stadium plays host to a variety of high school, college, regional and national events.

In 2008, the Reno County Industrial Center was renovated and expanded. The new facility was reopened in the fall and renamed the Ade-Wifco RCIC to recognize the contributions of Fred Ade and Wifco Corporation.

The college continued to renovate and expand with the completion of a major renovation and construction project on the decades-old Science Hall. The facility was revamped into a modern scientific facility and was renamed the Richard E. Smith Science Center to recognized the major contributions of local entrepreneur and alumnus Richard Smith. The new facility was dedicated in the fall of 2010.

The college has three off-campus sites: McPherson, Newton and at Fort Riley. The Newton site is housed in the Axtell Educational Center, which opened in 2008.  The McPherson site, located near the intersection of Highway 135 and Highway 56, opened in 2010.  The Fort Riley center, which offers a variety of allied health programs, opened in 2014.

In September 2013 the College dedicated the Bob and Lou Peel Allied Health Center at Ninth and Main.

On April 26, 2015 the new Fire Science Training Center was dedicated on East Fourth Avenue.  This project was completed in conjunction with the City of Hutchinson Fire Department.


1300 North Plum, Hutchinson, KS 67501
1-888-GO-HUTCH or (620) 665-3500