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CVTC referendum is April 7

Chippewa Valley Technical College is presenting a $48.8 million referendum to voters on the April 7 ballot to fund a number of facilities projects as well as equipment and land purchases.

The proposal includes construction of a new Transportation Education Center for $28 million, an addition and remodeling at the Emergency Services Education Center for $9.2 million, the addition of an Automated Fabrication Lab at the Manufacturing Education Center for $3 million, and purchase of land adjacent to the River Falls campus for $2.5 million. Also included are the development of mobile labs, purchase of new technology, remodeling at the Menomonie and Chippewa Falls campuses, a storage facility, and two science labs.

According to CVTC President Bruce Barker, the overall goals are to meet the workforce needs of the region and address a growing labor shortage in some critical areas.

“The programs we offer and the job skills we teach directly impact the quality of life in the Chippewa Valley,” Barker said. “Skilled positions in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, as well as protective services all require the specialized education that only CVTC provides. That’s why it is critical for CVTC to keep its programming, technology and facilities current.”

Transportation The 124,000 sq. ft. Transportation Education Center would bring together CVTC’s transportation-related programs including Automotive Technician; Auto Collision Repair; Diesel Truck Technician; Truck Driving; and Motorcycle, Marine and Outdoor Power, plus an Agriculture Service Technician program scheduled to begin next year. Currently, these programs are in facilities that are too small or outdated and spread over four locations, preventing collaboration between them. CVTC’s Emergency Service Education Center was built following passage of a CVTC’s only previous referendum in 1997. “After 20 years, the demands for training in the emergency areas have changed,” said Shelly Olson, CVTC’s dean of health and emergency services. “What we built in the ‘90s is no longer adequate.”