JANESVILLE

Blackhawk Technical College’s district board on Wednesday unanimously approved construction plans for a pair of referendum projects, the new Center for Transportation Studies and a fire training tower.

The two structures are part of phase one of the referendum construction.

The college started with these structures because certain aspects of their design take time to complete, said Vice President of Administrative Operations Renea Ranguette.

The roughly 22,500-square-foot transportation building has design and delivery elements that required early approval, she said.

“The key for this building is the design of the structure. It’s with precast concrete, and there is about a four-month lead time from the order date to the delivery, so that’s the reason that we’re in this cycle of timing ... so that they’re arriving at the time that we are ready for construction when the spring weather allows,” Ranguette said.

The building is estimated to cost about $3.9 million.

The fire tower, meanwhile, will be assembled elsewhere and shipped upon completion for the college to place. Bids for the tower project are also presented differently.

Blackhawk Tech is relying on a partner who has already asked for bids on the project, estimated to cost about $609,000.

Plans for both structures will eventually need approval from the Wisconsin Technical College System board next month. That is also when the Blackhawk Tech board will award bids. The state board will review the proposals at its Jan. 19 meeting.

Construction of the Center for Transportation Studies and the fire training tower is expected to begin next summer, according to college documents. Phase two of the referendum work, which includes pavement and outbuildings for the site, is expected to begin in fall 2021.

Phase three, construction of the public safety building, is expected to begin in summer 2022 with targeted completion by fall 2023.

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