WCTC moving forward with manufacturing center

By Arthur Thomas - Freeman Staff

October 18, 2014

Waukesha County Technical College announced Friday it will move forward with plans to build a $4.5 million Integrated Manufacturing Center. 
Submitted rendering 

PEWAUKEE - Despite falling short of its goal of raising $2 million by Sept. 30 for a proposed Integrated Manufacturing Center, Waukesha County Technical College announced Friday it will move forward with plans to build the $4.5 million facility.

Mike Shiels, dean of the WCTC School of Applied Technologies, said the college has heard repeatedly from the business community that the project would be “the best option to produce the skilled employees they need.”

“We are actively working with several more employers on gift commitments,” Shiels said.

The proposed 24,000square-foot center will be connected to the college’s existing Industrial Building and will be home to several programs within the School of Applied Technologies. WCTC plans to spend $1.5 million on the project in accordance with the state’s limit on capital project spending. WCTC has been working closely with the Waukesha County Business Alliance and the group’s Manufacturing Executive Council on the IMC capital campaign.

WCTC announced in August it had received a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor for the project. An initial deadline was set for early September for the college to raise $2 million required as a match by the donor. The deadline was then extended to Sept. 30.

The deadline set by the donor has now been extended to June 30, 2015. To date, nearly $1.4 million has been committed for the project.

WCTC District Board Chair Pauline Jaske said the board is behind the project and has encouraged staff to move forward with plans for a $4.5 million building. Less expensive plans had been presented to the board earlier this week.

WCTC is now planning to move forward with the project’s architectural and engineering firms to plan for a two-phase design build-out by floor (ground floor and second floor) with plans to break ground in April 2015. If the funds are not raised by January, the project could be delayed to break ground in fall 2015.