College lobbies for remodeling fundsDakota County Technical College has been wooing legislators in hopes of getting money to make improvements to the campus.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Dakota County Technical College has been wooing legislators in hopes of getting money to make improvements to the campus. Over the next several years DCTC administrators hopes to get $13 million in bonding money to remodel 118,000 sq. ft of the college’s transportation and technology section.
About a month ago a group of state senators toured the campus and before that a group of state representatives paid a visit. Dean of Transportation and Technology Mike Opp said from the feedback he received from both groups he’s hopeful the project will get the money it needs to complete the project.
As planned the project would remodel about 25 percent of the campus, Opp said. Plans call for improvements in the electrical systems, air quality and technological capabilities within the automotive, heavy construction, heavy-duty trucks, nanotechnology and engineering departments.
“Most of the project will be the unseen stuff,” Opp said.
The technical improvements will be in line with the college’s attempts to become more eco-friendly. Opp said updates to items like lights and windows should result in a 30 percent energy savings for the college.
In addition to improving technical systems Opp said the college also plans to redo some of its labs and shops to better suit the students and the programs that serve them. In some cases that will mean a reduction in size and in others an increase.
Opp said this part of the college is long overdue for improvements.
“It hasn’t been touched since the 1970s,” Opp said.
If all goes in the favor of DCTC, the college will make the improvements in two phases through two bonding bills.
Opp said they hope to receive the first round of about $6.8 million in July 2010. Those funds will help pay for the design and development of the project and the first phase of construction.
If the college receives the funding Opp said it will take about a year to do the design and development and another year to complete the first phase of construction.
The college will request the second round of funding in 2012 and hopes to finish the project after that.
The college has already received some support from the legislature for the project. Opp said they received $300,000 in 2008 to do some preliminary planning.