Groundbreaking set for Parkland's diesel center

Groundbreaking set for Parkland's diesel center

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College is about to break ground on a diesel center that's part of a program where 100 percent of students get a job.

The groundbreaking ceremony for Parkland College's new Diesel Technology Addition will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the campus's Tony Noel Agriculture Technology Applications Center.

The ceremony will begin in Room W115 of the Noel Center, then head south of the building for the groundbreaking.

The facility is unique, said program Director Mark Ziegler, because repair jobs are there even in a recession, and equipment dealers play a role in bringing students in.

Case New Holland is the primary corporate sponsor, lending the center some of its latest combines and construction equipment.

The facility will serve dealers within 175 miles of Parkland, he said.

Speakers at the ceremony will include representatives from Case New Holland and Birkey's Farmstores; Parkland President Thomas Ramage and Parkland Board of Trustees member Linden Warfel; and Ziegler.

A student-run excavator will perform the actual groundbreaking.

Construction bids on the 14,000-square-foot addition to the Noel Center are expected to be turned in by Dec. 1, a release noted.

The project will allow the college to answer current demand for highly trained diesel technicians, which has continued to grow in the district. Parkland College will be able to double the number of diesel graduates through the increased training space, Ziegler said.

Ziegler said Case New Holland is best known through four brands: Case IH Ag, New Holland Ag, Case Construction and New Holland Construction.

"It's a brand-specfic program. Elsewhere at Parkland, we currently do diesel semitrucks, John Deere, Caterpillar, Case, as well as Case equipment," Ziegler said.

The college expects to have the addition ready for classes by fall 2010.

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