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An artist’s rendering of the Hawkeye Community College adult learning center to be built on the lot on Jefferson Street at West Mullan Avenue and First Street in downtown Waterloo.

WATERLOO — Hawkeye Community College is seeking bids to build its new urban campus after the board of trustees reviewed the project this week.

The 45,000- square-foot three-story Adult Learning Center will be located downtown just north of U.S. Highway 218 between First Street and Mullan Avenue along Jefferson Street. It will replace the Metro and Martin Luther King Jr. centers, doubling the capacity for serving students to 4,000.

A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. April 25. The contract is expected to be approved during that meeting, as well. The project has an estimated cost of $11.55 million.

“That is more than we originally budgeted for, but we added another floor,” Linda Allen, Hawkeye’s president, told trustees. The third floor will include classrooms, an art gallery and a gathering space with a 255-person capacity. It will also feature glass walls and a wrap-around balcony.

Fees for construction management administration by Cardinal Construction are included in the estimate, but fees for Struxture Architects design work are not. Construction will get underway in May. Officials anticipate work will be completed in time for the center to open for classes in the fall of 2018.

“That’s a fairly aggressive building schedule,” said Allen, acknowledging weather-related delays could change the timeline. “We realize we need to get this building opened and serving students.”

Adult education students will continue to be the focus of programs when the new facility opens. Along with noncredit adult basic education and English language learner classes, Hawkeye plans to expand credit nursing assistant and computer numerical control machining programs. More credit programs may be added later.

CNC and nursing labs will be on the first floor, as will a number of services for students. A health clinic, child care and a hub to connect students to social services will be available. A coffee shop and cafe that will also function as a student learning lab is planned for the first floor.

In a related matter, trustees authorized issuing up to $10 million in general obligation school bonds, which will allow Hawkeye to levy the taxes for their repayment. The bonds are a portion of $25 million approved by voters in 2015 across the college’s 10-county service area for various projects, including the Adult Learning Center. Officials don’t expect to issue the bonds before this fall.

In other business, the board gave preliminary approval to $960,000 in industrial new jobs training certificates for four area companies creating 156 positions. Certificates will be issued after final approval is given next month.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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