NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion

November 29, 2013

From pricecountydaily.com: “NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion” — An expansion project geared at better meeting the needs of one increasingly in-demand base for education in the Northwoods is moving forward at Northcentral Technical College’s Phillips Campus.

Each year, NTC completes two major capital projects, and current construction efforts at the Phillips Campus make up one of those projects for 2013.

The overhaul involves an expansion of the manufacturing lab along with the addition of 4,500 square feet of new classroom space to the southwest corner of the campus building.

“What it’s going to mean is that the Phillips Campus is going to be able to support more programs such as the machine tool and the manufacturing technician, which will complement our one-year and one-semester welding programs,” said NTC North Campus Dean Roberta Damrow.

The footings and floors for both areas of expansion are in. Now, the campus is waiting for segments of the actual building to arrive, something project leaders believe will happen in mid-January.

Damrow noted that these project aspects are expected to be wrapped up in April.

It looks like the new spaces will be useable in time for summer classes and then see full scheduling by fall semester of next year, as Damrow explained.

One really nice feature about the classroom addition is that the partition between two distinct classrooms can be opened up to create a larger area spanning 1,700-square feet, Damrow noted. This feature will help cover the campus’ increased need for face-to-face instruction to support expanded offerings in the manufacturing lab while at the same time providing a space different groups can utilize outside of school hours.

“We should be able to support community needs for large groups,” Damrow said.

Four new IVC (Interactive Video Conferencing) rooms will be added along with the large, connectable classrooms.

This will allow the North Campus of NTC to stream more courses offered at other campuses across the college system. Damrow sees this increased distance learning capacity being particularly useful when it comes to meeting community needs for continuing education, something that’s a cornerstone of work in the early childhood field or the food and beverage industry, to name a few career areas.

“Any sort of occupation that needs continuing education. We’ll be able to stream in more classes so people don’t have to travel as far to be recertified,” Damrow said.

Expansion plans also call for the creation of something called a net meeting room, which will hold 16 computer spaces for students taking online and Adobe Connect classes.

This allows for more flexibility in course offerings to meet the diverse needs of different learners.

A new set of bathrooms is also in construction plans for the larger classroom space.

In addition to the building expansions, contractors are putting up a stand-alone storage shed behind the main building to house equipment and materials for use in the manufacturing lab. This structure is on schedule to be completed before Thanksgiving.

“The Price County campus continues to see growth, and we attribute that to the newer campus and the newer programming that we continue to bring in…” Damrow said.

Area residents find in NTC a nearby institution where they can access a range of education options, as Damrow explained.

Instructors at the Phillips Campus sees a number of high school students “getting a jump on their college career” via technical college courses that are transferable to other colleges, as well as students who spent their first year post-high school at the campus and then transfer to Wausau or other colleges across the state.

“It’s a cost effective way to start your education. It’s also a cost-effective way to earn your first degree, and we know that lifelong learning is the way of the future, so we intend to continue to be innovative in offering things that are going to support the local industries,” Damrow said.

The campus is tentatively planning for a spring ribbon cutting to dedicate the new spaces.



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