EAU CLAIRE — Chippewa Valley Technical College is seeking the city’s approval for plans to build a new Transportation Education Center, which is the largest project in a $48.8 million referendum approved by voters.
At its Monday night meeting, the Eau Claire Plan Commission will review a site plan for the new 115,000-square-foot building slated for CVTC’s West Campus, located just off the North Crossing.
Budgeted at $28.9 million for the new center and a storage building associated with it, the project is intended to help students train on the newest technologies while also consolidating several programs under one roof.
“Transportation programs are currently located in five separate facilities which are inadequately equipped for training and teaching current and future technologies,” Brian Lambert, a civil engineer from architectural and engineering firm Ayres Associates, wrote in his description of the plans. “This project will bring all programs together in one location which will encourage collaboration among staff and students, add the ability to share equipment and resources, and promote more efficient operations.”
The new building will also allow CVTC to increase student enrollment capacity to address a workforce shortage in the transportation sector, Lambert noted.
The single-story building will be clad in concrete panels and brick with accent panels made of corrugated metal. in addition to shop spaces and classrooms, the building will include both indoor and outdoor commons areas.
Also on the campus, the project will include training courses for semi truck drivers and motorcycle safety.
Construction of the center is slated to begin in April and finish in mid-2022, allowing the first classes to be held there in fall 2022.
Following the Plan Commission’s recommendation on site plans for the Transportation Education Center project, the City Council will vote on it on Dec. 8.
In October, the city approved plans for expanding parking at the West Campus, which already is home to CVTC’s Energy Education Center.
CVTC’s $48.8 million referendum won approval from 62.2% of voters in the April 7 election. The college originally estimated it would add $13 to homeowners’ tax bills per every $100,000 of property value. As updated financial figures became available, CVTC announced last month the tax impact is now only projected at $8.55 per $100,000 of equalized property value.