TOWN OF ROCK

Blackhawk Technical College has started construction on various renovations at its central campus aimed at improving the overall student experience, with work expected to wrap up in April of next year.

The college is renovating its cafeteria, commons and old library spaces to elevate the on-campus experience. The upper level will be transformed into a new conference center, and the lower level will be home to the student union and cafeteria. The student union also will feature a unity lounge.

“The emphasis is on providing a supportive environment. We are focusing on creating spaces that enhance the student experience. Additionally, the advent of a Unity Lounge will create a space to engage with and learn about our diverse communities,” Blackhawk Technical College President Tracy Pierner said.

He added, “The facility enhancements will also provide new venues for our graduation and pinning ceremonies, reflecting the excellence of our programs and students.”

As the work begins, there will be temporary adjustments to food service and seating options. Food service is now offered at the Starbucks area on the central campus with additional seated.

The old library location on campus will close for construction starting today.

“These projects are part of the evolution of the college. To better support our students, we are enhancing our services and facilities to match the needs of our student body,” Pierner said.

A total cost of the renovations is as follows: $1.23 million for the new conference center, $1.05 million for the updated student commons and $249,298 for the cafeteria remodel.

In November 2020, voters in Rock and Green counties approved a referendum that would add a $32 million, state-of-the-art Public Safety and Transportation Center to the central campus.

Groundbreaking on the center started last spring and construction is ongoing at the site just north of the central campus.

The project includes several training facilities for operating emergency vehicles and fire suppression, specialized simulation labs and additional classrooms to serve students in various public safety and transportation programs offered by the college.

Construction on the facility is expected to continue through 2023 with the outdoor elements of the site available for use by fall 2022 with a grand opening anticipated in December 2023.

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