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Iowa Lakes Trustees proceed with SERT building

April 16, 2013
Estherville Daily News

EMMETSBURG - The Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College gathered on the Emmetsburg campus Tuesday and voted to proceed with the remodeling of the Sustainable Energy Resource Technology (SERT) building on the Estherville campus.

The vision is to take the former Medieval Glass facility on Seventh Avenue South and convert it into a facility to house the proposed Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program and the new Water Quality program as well as industry training. In addition, the building would be upgraded to include a lab for potential robotics classes and space for Stech and NC3 training for both students and industry partners. As growth continues, approximately 13,500 square feet could be added to the structure.

Delaine Hiney, executive director of Facilities Management, reported that Christensen Construction of Estherville submitted the low base bid. The trustees accepted the bid following a public hearing.

The swine facility at the college farm laboratory had its first change order approved. Three windows were added, walls are being added to make a hallway and an additional feed bin was purchased.

This month's Iowa Lakes report featured the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program. Scott Stokes, executive dean of the Estherville campus, pointed out that graduates help fill positions throughout the United States - as well as regionally - and support the growth of the wind industry.

Dan Lutat, the director of the Wind Energy program, gave an overview of upcoming events involving Iowa Lakes - and its students. He also addressed the planned improvements for the SERT building and answered questions.

"The opportunities in this industry are global," Lutat said.

This year the American Wind Energy Association's national conference will be held in Chicago and Iowa Lakes will staff a booth. Shortly after that conference, the college will host a Wind Tech event - in cooperation with WTWH Media LLC. The mid-May event is targeted for the industry and its technicians.

Trent Meiners, Manson, is a freshman student in the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program. Meiners spoke about his studies as well as his summer internship. He was offered internships from six wind industry companies. Meiners chose Iowa Lakes since it was near his home area and because it is a quality program. Iowa Lakes received the AWEA Seal of Approval in the first year the honor was awarded to colleges.

In economic development matters, Clark Marshall, executive director of economic development, talked about job growth in the region. A public hearing was held and the trustees approved resolutions related to the authorization of issuing $975,000 in Industrial New Jobs Training Certificates which impact several firms throughout the region by providing needed training for new employees.

In the foundation update, Tony Condon of the Institutional Advancement office shared that Indusoft has donated 19 software licenses which can be used by wind energy students. The trustees accepted the gift which was valued by the donor at just over $49,000.

Also, he shared information about the scholarship selection process. Applications are currently being reviewed by committees. Once selected, the students are notified and then college staff members distribute certificates when local high schools hold their awards ceremonies.

The regular meeting wrapped up with several reports given by the trustees.

The Tuesday meeting also served as the annual gathering of Iowa Lakes with the Lakeland Area Education Association. The two groups met for dinner following the Board of Trustees meeting. Kari Webb, STEM Hub programmer, was the featured speaker at that meeting.



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