DACC board to vote on tech center expansion

DACC board to vote on tech center expansion

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College trustees could kick off a much-needed expansion at the Harry J. Braun Technology Center.

Trustees on Tuesday will vote on whether to go forward with the nearly $3 million project and whether to hire Walton & Associates of Springfield to provide architectural and engineering services.

The trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Vermilion Hall, Room 302, at the campus, 2000 E. Main St. A copy of the agenda and board packet is available online at http://bit.ly/Zjbod1.

Located on the campus' northeast corner, the technology center houses the Technology and Information Systems Division including drafting/CAD, electronics, golf course equipment, information systems, manufacturing, welding, auto body, auto mechanics, mechatronics and wind energy programs. It also houses the computer and network services and the Corporate and Community Education Division's Industrial Training Center.

The proposed expansion has been on the college's Campus Master Plan — major capital projects funded with state dollars and a 25 percent local match — for several years.

"Certainly, our advanced manufacturing programs are critical to the college and the community," President Alice Jacobs said.

"We've added so many programs in the last 10 years, and that building is running out of room," she continued, adding it is used by traditional college students and area high school students in the College Express program.

The project calls for building a 10,000-square-foot addition onto the north and west sides of the building. It would house two classrooms, two training labs, two offices, a small conference room, restrooms and storage.

Administrative services director Mike Cunningham said the addition will include a geothermal system.

If all goes as planned, Jacobs said, officials could break ground on the addition in the fall.

"This is really just the first step," she said.

Also at the meeting, trustees will vote on whether to approve a computer equipment list for the fall 2014 semester, estimated at $103,350.

Jacobs said the college needs to replace 67 computers in labs; 31 computers and monitors for the new Hoopeston Area Extension site, which will open this fall; and 25 computers and monitors for the Assessment Center, which will allow the college to meet new GED exam requirements and become a Certified Pearson Testing Center.

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