WITC campus renovations plannedArea News
-- The second phase of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s expansion project cleared its final hurdle Monday night when its board of directors awarded Derrick Cos. the contract for the work.
By: Jackie Grumish , Pierce County Herald
The second phase of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s expansion project cleared its final hurdle Monday night when its board of directors awarded Derrick Cos. the contract for the work.
WITC completed the first phase of the project in 2010 when it built an 8,000 square foot addition and remodeled part of its existing structure. This time project plans call for the remodeling of the power equipment center, the college’s steel-sided building.
Remodeling plans include stripping off the steel roof and siding, and removing the concrete floors.
“It’s a total overhaul of that building,” said Joe Huftel, campus administrator. “We didn’t have the money for it two years ago.”
The expansion portion of the project will actually take place within WITC’s current footprint, Huftel said. An 8,000 square foot learning center will be constructed to house the college’s library, student success center and flex labs.
“It’ll be a one-stop shop for educational support,” Huftel predicted.
The new learning center will actually be housed on two 4,000 square foot levels, Huftel said.
Plans for the $3.2 million remodel/expansion project have been in the works for years.
The project would have been completed sooner, but technical colleges are limited to $1.5 million in new construction every two years, plus $1.5 million of renovations every two years.
WITC is bursting at its seams, Huftel said. When the college’s satellite program opened at the Community Commons in 2011, it was the first time WITC had been able to offer a new program in five years, he said. Now, the college’s Human Services Associate, CNA and Early Childhood programs are housed at the Community Commons.
“That’s worked out really well for us,” Huftel said. “With Early Childhood there along with Head Start – it’s a match made in heaven.”
Construction crews are expected to break ground in April and if all goes as planned the project should be complete before classes begin in the fall.
“It’s an aggressive timeline, but we’ve got students
who’ve paid tuition to be here. It needs to be done on time,” he said.
Jackie Grumish is a reporter for the New Richmond News.