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SCC Breaks Ground on Industrial Tech. Center

Jason Parrott
Tri States Public Radio

Southeastern Community College is getting into the habit of breaking ground on multi-million dollar buildings.

Last month, it was the new $8 million Health Professions Center in West Burlington, which will house all health care-related courses and programs.

The scene shifted Friday afternoon to Keokuk as college and community leaders broke ground on the new $4.2 million Industrial Technologies Training Center.

President Michael Ash said the two facilities highlight a new direction for SCC.

"We want to move forward," said Dr. Ash.  "We want to strengthen what SCC is all about.  We want to be able to tell our story better."

Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio
Tri States Public Radio
Dr. Michael Ash speaking before the groundbreaking in Keokuk

The Industrial Technologies Training Center will feature state of the art learning labs in areas such as:

  • Robotics
  • Electronics
  • Welding
  • HVAC      

Dr. Ash said the new facility will also house some existing maintenance and industrial technology programs, which will open space on campus so other programs can be updated.
“It will give us the opportunity to put in place up-to-date, state-of-the-art labs for our sciences as well as our health programs," said Dr. Ash.

He said SCC is seeking a federal grant to help pay for the new technology center in Keokuk.  The grant could cover as much as half the cost of the building.

Ash said the college will wait for word on the grant before putting the project out for bid.  He said the goal is for construction to begin this spring and be completed in one year.

Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio
Tri States Public Radio
Some of the equipment used by Industrial Technology students at SCC.

SCC Board of Trustees President Lanny Hillyard said there is a shortage of skilled workers in the tri-states region and this new facility will fill that gap.

"This state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical training lab will allow us to serve more students with short-term training, specialized certificate training and full-scale diploma and degree programs," said Hillyard.

The new buildings in Keokuk and West Burlington are part of a new master plan for SCC.  It is being funded by a voter-approved bond issue.

SCC is on its second round of seeking bids for the new building in West Burlington.  The first round came in about $2 million above budget.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.