Storm Lake Announces Plans For New Campus/ Receives Career Academy Grant
by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
Posted on 12/8/2022
Students at Iowa Central Community College’s Storm Lake Campus will soon be able to attend all of their classes in one centralized location.
Plans for a new single site at 323 W. 20th St. near the Iowa Central Training Center are underway with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2023. Presently, Storm Lake students take classes in three separate locations: The AEA Building on Flindt Drive, Storm Lake High School and on the campus of Buena Vista University.
The AEA Building currently houses classes for ESL and ELL, while nursing students attend class in the basement of BVU’s Swope Hall and general for-credit classes are held at Storm Lake High School.
Chris Cleveland, Storm Lake Center director said the new facility will allow a more fluid transition for students in multiple classes.
“This will provide our students with a more fluid learning experience,” said Cleveland. “It has been a long-term goal of our master plan to have everything offered in one site.”
“Our goal is to get everyone into one central location and this building will allow us to do that,” said Dr. Stacy Mentzer, vice president of instruction at Iowa Central.
The two-story building will include 16 classrooms with eight on each floor, an Academic Resource Center, and a testing center for external companies in the community to utilize. The new center will also offer additional programs such as welding, electrical and manufacturing and certified nurse aid courses.
“We are working to offer more programs and courses that will help fill a need in the Storm Lake area,” Mentzer said.
“Expanding our campus in Storm Lake allows us to better serve a part of the Iowa Central region that is rapidly growing,” said Iowa Central President Dr. Jesse Ulrich. “This expansion not only makes sense for our region, for our businesses and industry, and for our students, but also fits directly into our strategic plan and mission for Iowa Central.”
The initial plan is to complete the first floor of the building and continue to add classroom space on the second floor as enrollment increases. Presently, 198 students are enrolled in a combined 1,425 credit hours through the Storm Lake Campus.
“Being in one location should help with our student enrollment,” Cleveland said.
“Our goal is to be able to double enrollment with a new building,” Mentzer said.
The campus will also include a career academy for area high school students to enroll in a specific set of courses associated with a designated career area
“Our hope is that having one campus will create more of a college environment and make our students feel more at home at Iowa Central.”
Career Academy Grant
Iowa Central Community College has been named one of four recipients of Iowa Department of Education grants through the Career Academy Incentive Fund.
The competitive grants are designed to assist educational institutions in preparing more Iowa high school students for success in college, post-secondary training and the workforce.
Iowa Central received the $1 million grant to increase access to career academy programs through new regional centers. The grant will be used to help create a regional career center at the new Storm Lake Campus set to be constructed in 2023. The Storm Lake Career Academy will serve students from five school districts in northwest Iowa.
Plans for a new single campus site at 323 W. 20th St. near the Iowa Central Training Center are underway with construction to begin in the spring of 2023.
“We are extremely excited to be a recipient,” said Stacy Mentzer, vice president of instruction at Iowa Central. “This will allow us to expand and help build our career academy in Storm Lake.”
“Expanding career academies develops our workforce talent pipeline and provides high school students with opportunities to gain valuable experience, connect with local employers and earn industry credentials and college credit,” Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement released by the Department of Education.
Storm Lake’s Career Academy will be the fourth for Iowa Central, which also has academies in Eagle Grove, Jefferson and Laurens currently serving students from a combined 14 school districts in the Iowa Central Area
The Career Academy Incentive Fund was created in 2019 by a statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) which runs through 2051. This year was the fifth round of grants awarded to Iowa schools.
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