For the first time in recent memory, the MBI Board of Directors has thrown their full support behind a specific Board of Regents project. That project is the University of Northern Iowa’s Industrial Technology Center (ITC) renovation and expansion project.
So how did the Board come to this decision?
MBI met with President Mark Nook and his staff over the fall to discuss the importance of the project. We were impressed with his commitment to placing this project as the utmost priority for infrastructure on campus. President Nook and his staff recognize the importance of educating and training the next generation for great paying jobs like the ones our members create every day and need to fill.
The UNI ITC building houses the coveted construction management program. That program has demonstrated a 100% placement rate for graduates over the last 5 years. And the overwhelming majority of those graduates are staying right here in Iowa! The numbers are remarkable and demonstrate the value of this direct talent pipeline for our members. For some more recent news on the construction management program, please click here.
Recently, John Fritch, Dean, College of Humanities Arts & Sciences, University of Northern Iowa presented to the joint Transportation, Infrastructure and Capital Appropriations Subcommittee about the need to expand and update the modernization facilities in the Industrial Technology Center. As Mr. Fritch explained to the committee, the building was constructed in 1974, has had the basic maintenance conducted since that time, and is undersized for the program demand. There is a need to renovate about 60,000 sq. feet of existing space and a desire to expand another 45,000 sq. feet to handle the demand for the program.
The total cost of the project over a three-year period would total $40.2 million. MBI is working with the University, the Regents, and their partners to secure $2.1 million in this first year for beginning the design work. The fiscal year 2020 would require $13.3 million and fiscal year 2021 would require $20.8 million to finish construction.
The University will also be conducting a fundraising campaign to raise and leverage private dollars for technology and upgrade costs. That campaign is expected to be announced in the near future.
If you have any questions about this project or MBI’s position in lobbying for the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com