Gateway Technical College's Elkhorn campus to get $3.5 million facelift
ELKHORN—Gateway Technical College's Elkhorn campus will undergo a facelift come June.
Portions of the south building's interior will be reconstructed, and an addition will transform two courtyards into a student life center and dining area.
“We're trying to make it a more student friendly space. The students are why we're here. We never lose sight of that,” said Larry Paruszkiewicz, director of building services for the college's Kenosha, Elkhorn and Burlington campuses.
Plans for renovations and the addition have been in the works for years, Paruszkiewicz said.
The south building, 400 County H, is the original campus building built in 1970. It's had five or six expansions, Paruszkiewicz said.
Energy efficiency wasn't considered when the building was first built. Now, the college wants to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and create space that's conducive for present and future students.
The building houses faculty offices and a student commons area.
Previous construction created “disjointed” additions and didn't consider future needs, Paruszkiewicz said.
“We're trying to keep the campuses up to date as the training needs change and as far as giving us the flexibility to adapt,” Paruszkiewicz said.
The project will be completed in two phases to comply with budget restraints. The project's estimated cost is $3.5 million, Paruszkiewicz said. District borrowing funds it.
The first phase is for the expansion and some renovations. It's scheduled to begin in June and last until October 2014. The projected cost is $2 million.
Some first phase projects include:
-- Expanding the building by 1,000 square feet into two courtyards to create a student life center and dining area.
-- Adding a new kitchen, computer kiosks, study areas and dining areas.
-- Bringing heating and cooling systems up to code.
-- Shifting the entrance about 30 feet to the new student center. The entrance will connect to corridors leading to the classroom wings.
-- Moving the handicapped parking near the new entrance and creating a drop-off and pick-up area.
The second phase will renovate 4,100 square feet on the east side of the south building. It will begin immediately after the first. It's estimated to last until February 2015. It's estimated to cost $1.5 million.
Some of the second phase projects include:
-- Renovating space meant for a student services center into employee office space.
-- Making a new space for the Walworth County Job Center located in a separate building on campus.
-- Improving conference facilities used by the college and community.
-- Roofing, adding a new mechanical system and updating water systems.
Gateway is waiting for the project to be reviewed and approved by the state in the next few weeks. Then the college will get a building permit from Elkhorn. Paruszkiewicz doesn't expect any delays and said the project is on schedule to begin sometime in June.