Industrial technology center to modernize – North of Iowan
Editor’s Note: The previous article published in our last issue (October 4) contained outdated and incorrect information. This article provides the latest and correct information about the modernization of the Industrial Technology Center.
Without any significant upgrades in 47 years, the Industrial Technology Center (ITC) is finally receiving much-needed renovations from May 2022.
The total budget for the renovationions is $ 44,776,000, approved by the Board of Regents. The building will receive renovations to the existing facility on the southeast side, and a new addition will be added to the north-western part of the building.
The building retrofit approval process took years. According to the Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, John Fritch, UNI first proposed renovations in 2017 and then proposed it to the legislature in 2018. However, the proposals were rejected due to the funding. In 2020, the project received partial funding and full funding was granted this year.
The building is in dire need of an upgrade, as little work has been done to keep up with growing technology areas.
“The building was built in 1975 and it was state of the art for 1975,” said Fritch. “It’s still the state of the art for 1975.”
He continued, “The second thing is that the structure of the building is dated. For example, each faculty office has only one outlet. So you know, they had room for a lamp and possibly a typewriter. But now no one can be satisfied with just one point of sale in their office. But now we’re doing robotics, and that sort of thing. We just don’t have the power in it. In addition, we passed the building. We need a lot more space.
The renovation will allow UNI to develop new programs in constantly evolving fields and to involve students in interactive learning and projects. Building renovations are specifically designed to be flexible and create space for new work.
“Who knows what the world will bring in 20 years, so we want to be ready to make those kinds of changes,” said Fitch.
In addition, the technology program hopes to attract new students.
“We’ll be better able to tell students what we’re actually doing,” Fitch said. “Now you walk into the building and it looks like a very old, old fashioned building, so they can assume our programs are too. We believe that the students will better understand what we do.
The modernization project received generous donations from sponsors to help cover costs. Dave and Karen Takes donated $ 10 million to UNI in 2019, and $ 1 million of that money will be used for renovations. John Deere is providing $ 750,000 for the project, and Master Builders of Iowa is contributing $ 250,000. Fitch recognizes how proud they are that people and businesses recognize all of the hard work that UNI’s technology department has done and will continue to do.