While you may be more aware of the impending renovations to the historic Marshalltown High School Roundhouse, Marshalltown Community College is also preparing to embark on its own renovation project. Planning has been under way for the past year to upgrade existing facilities that house two of our main career program areas: Advanced Manufacturing and Health Occupations.
The Advanced Manufacturing area will encompass the northeast section of the main MCC campus. It will include new instructional labs and classroom spaces for the Machine Tool Technology, Electromechanical Systems Technology, and Utility Technician programs. Renovations are needed because the current spaces are not functioning to effectively train our students. The Machining lab will grow to two-and-half times its existing space to accommodate new equipment and growing credit and non-credit training programs. Utility Technician and Electromechanical Systems, which are new programs to the MCC campus, will share a reconfigured lab space that better meets the needs for effective training.
The Health Occupations renovation will take place on the south side of the MCC campus. New classrooms, offices, and a simulation lab will create collaborative spaces for MCC's nursing, medical assisting, and dental assisting programs as well as Iowa Valley Continuing Education's nurse aide, emergency medical services, phlebotomy, pharmacy technician, and health CEU offerings. The simulation lab will allow nursing and other health occupations students to work in a simulated hospital or other healthcare environment by practicing various scenarios using high-tech manikin "patients" before training in hospitals and clinics. The simulation lab will be versatile in its set up, including mimicking an eight-bed hospital setting.
To fund these infrastructure projects, the College has accumulated several years of funding allocated through the state of Iowa's Accelerated Career Education funding. The project is estimated to cost about $2.3 million. The public hearing for the construction project is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, with bid opening on Tuesday, March 4; construction will begin in mid-May. The Health Occupation project will be completed in August, and the Advanced Manufacturing project completion is scheduled for November.
These renovations, while perhaps not as historic as others in town, will offer excitement to the community in another way by enhancing the skilled training needed for workers in our community.
Robin Shaffer Lilienthal is the Marshalltown Community College Provost