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BTC Board gives go-ahead to buy land

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
December 17, 2010
— Blackhawk Technical College will seek a deal that would increase the size of its central campus by about 40 percent.

The BTC Board on Wednesday authorized President Tom Eckert to negotiate for the purchase of land to the north of the campus for a maximum $12,500 an acre.


A certified survey still needs to be performed to verify the exact size of the property, which belongs to Arthur Donaldson.


Different sources put the size of the property at 32 or 33 acres, said Renea Ranguette, BTC vice president for finance and college operations.


At 32 acres, the maximum per-acre price would mean a cost of $400,000. That’s the amount set aside in this year’s budget for this purpose.


The land, now leased for farming, was described in a BTC memo as “ideal” for use as a “Traffic Safety Center.” BTC has been looking at the possibility of building a track where firefighters, police and others could learn specialized driving techniques.


Much of that training now goes on at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, Ill.


The central campus now comprises about 80 acres. The new land touches the campus’ northern boundary.


The board voted unanimously to go forward with the purchase.


The board also unanimously voted to lease an additional 12,000 square feet at the BTC Beloit Center, located in the Eclipse Center, to expand classroom and laboratory space, mainly for health professions.


The lease would cost $70,000 a year, Ranguette said. The space will require renovations that could cost an estimated $670,000.



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