Janesville40.2°

BTC wants parking lot expansion

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
October 15, 2008
— Enrollment is expected to keep surging at Blackhawk Technical College, so the college is rushing to expand its main-campus parking lot.

BTC’s board is scheduled to select a contractor for the project when it meets tonight. The cost for 98 new parking spaces is estimated at $213,000.


Fall enrollment of students in credit courses is up nearly 22 percent over last fall.


Another increase of 20 percent or more is expected in the spring semester, according to a memo included in the board’s agenda packet for tonight’s meeting.


The accelerated layoffs at the General Motors plant are likely to spur even more adults to enroll, said Mike Gagner, BTC’s institutional advancement coordinator.


So urgent is the need for parking lot space that the administration is recommending the board go ahead with the project without the usual approval from the Wisconsin Technical College System.


The WTCS Board doesn’t meet until January, but BTC officials want the new parking spaces in place before the construction season ends.


“While administration has attempted to disclose all information we have to Wisconsin Technical College System staff, the district board should be aware that the WTCS Board may be concerned that BTC moved forward without WTCS approval,” the memo states.


Students have parked on the grass this fall, but when the snowbanks pile up, they’ll no longer be able to do that, the memo says.


The alternative to an expanded parking lot is parking along highways or the college’s service road, the memo warns. The main campus touches both Highway 51 and County G between Janesville and Beloit.


To pay for the work, the administration is asking that the board postpone for a year a heating/air conditioning/ventilation project and to shift that money to the parking-lot project.


The proposal calls for new parking spaces near the southeast corner of the existing lot. Bidders have been asked to guarantee a completion date of Nov. 15.


The board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Center on the main campus, 6004 S. County G.


Also on the agenda is the setting of the 2008-09 tax levy.


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Blackhawk Technical College for-credit enrollment:


Year Students


2007-08 2,793


2008-09 3,400



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