ICCC approves E.G. armory purchase

The Iowa Central Community College board of trustees Tuesday approved purchasing the U.S. Army National Guard Armory building in Eagle Grove for $225,000.

The building will be used for the college’s planned Career Academy, according to Dan Kinney, Iowa Central president.

“We’ll be clustering some high schools together, and they’ll be busing students to one facility to go through some career programming,” Kinney said.

Career Academy will help train students for job areas in demand from local companies. The career technical education-based instruction will include process technology and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and business, as well as Project Lead the Way, an advanced engineering program, and general ed programs.

“Right now, there’s only maybe two students here, three students there, and it’s hard to be able to just send out instructors for two students,” Kinney said. “This brings them all to one center, so we can do some more advanced courses.”

With the building, Iowa Central can ready its Career Academy to begin, in part, in the 2014-2015 school year, Kinney said, and expand after.

The building’s cost will be paid in yearly installments over four years. The first $75,000 will be paid January 2014, and $50,000 will be paid each January through 2017.

“If we can pay that off earlier, we’ll move to pay that off,” Kinney said.

The payments are interest free and, according to Board Member Darrell Determann, is tax-exempt.

According to Kinney, the space is needed.

“When you’re talking about advanced manufacturing you’re talking about welders,” he said. “You can’t come into a classroom in a building and start welding. There’s fire resistance and electrical needs.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the purchase.

“We’re excited,” Kinney said. “It’s a great opportunity. For our region, it’s a win-win situation, for our business and industry out there looking for potential employees, the ability for them to work with the youth. Our hope is to keep the youth in our community.”