Tentative agreements have been reached that will allow Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) to relocate into downtown Stevens Point.
Tentative agreements have been reached that will allow Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) to relocate into downtown Stevens Point. This move will provide expansion possibilities for the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, Fox Theater, better access and parking for the Children’s Museum, and an increase in visitors to the downtown area. Finalization of a pending Common Council vote is key, along with eventual agreements to ensure that this dynamic project moves forward.
MSTC is a key player in supporting job growth and economic development. John Clark, retiring President of Mid-State Technical College, and incoming President Dr. Sue Budjac feel strongly that an educational institution needs to provide the skills necessary for a highly trained work force and for the jobs of the future. Mid-State Technical College is a recognized provider of this training; however, it has outgrown its current space. For nearly 100 years Stevens Point’s technical college has educated students with proven results. MSTC has averaged an 89% job placement rate for the past two years. To continue and build on this trend the Stevens Point location needs to grow.
With the need to increase the size of the MSTC Stevens Point campus, plans are in place to move its facility into the west end of the existing mall providing approximately 56,000 square feet of space. The move will allow for an expansion of existing programs with the possibility of additional programs. MSTC anticipates that this move will fit their current and anticipated facility needs. It will also provide more visibility for the college, support to the downtown, and much needed parking space for MSTC’s approximately 2,800 students and staff.
Enrollment in technical colleges is on the rise. In Wisconsin, over 400,000 students are enrolled in the Wisconsin Technical College System; over 9,000 currently attend MSTC. Technical colleges meet the complex needs of nontraditional and traditional adult learners.
Steve Smith, Stevens Point Campus Dean noted, “With the Stevens Point MSTC Campus experiencing a four year growth of 29.6% in enrollment, there simply is no more room to provide the educational resources needed to accommodate the students and programs at the current location. A move would provide additional space for classrooms and student life, as well as alleviate parking congestion.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Portage County will also benefit. The Parks and Recreation Department’s building will be available upon their move to the current MSTC facility on Michigan Ave. The MSTC facility is turn-key ready for a variety of uses. The club will receive the Parks and Recreation Department building at a reduced price or long-term lease from the city. This new facility will become the Stevens Point headquarters for the club and provide an excellent resource for activities, easy access for its members and staff, as well as office space.
Anne Schierl, President of the Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Club of Portage County and Kevin Quevillon, Executive Director both agree that the Rec Department building is a perfect location for the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County location. It is in a neighborhood that fits the club’s demographics and it is easily accessible to schools and busing. The facility is excellent for providing programming to help prepare teens for ongoing education and the future workforce.
“The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County has been seeking a long-term home in Stevens Point for several years. We really believe the Park and Rec facility provides us the location and facility to serve many more Stevens Point youth and families,” commented Kevin Quevillon, Executive Director.
Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson, responsible for spearheading this initiative stated, “This project represents the greatest opportunity our community has experienced in nearly 30 years for the downtown. Being able to partner with such a successful educational leader like MSTC will not only help them prosper; it will be a transformational force on our downtown for years to come. We need to support educational opportunities for our wage earners throughout the region and bring energy to downtown Stevens Point. This project touches on a synergy and partnership that can’t be replicated easily. We provide for downtown revitalization, MSTC and Boys and Girls Club expansion, the Children’s Museum success and the potentiality of the Fox reopening and expanding. This project touches every corner of our community with an emphasis on: education, our youth, and the downtown.”
• MSTC to benefit from increasing their size by nearly 50% - 30,000 to 56,000
• Downtown to benefit from the new traffic of over 500 plus FTE with MSTC and a total student count of 2800
• MSTC’s new design to be exciting and transformational
• Construction slated to begin in mid 2011, with MSTC’s move targeted to begin Summer of 2012
• City to invest $5.8 Million to acquire, and modify existing space, to create parking and green space, and to provide MSTC with $1.8 Million in relocation incentives
• City to acquire for $1.00 the exclusive rights for the current MSTC space, and move Park and Rec Dept into that space
• Boys & Girls Club of Portage County to receive exclusive rights to the existing Park and Rec building
• MSTC to invest $1.5 Million in renovation of new space downtown along with the City’s $1.8 Million
• Children’s Museum to now have access to a northern entrance and safe drop-off for children and visitors
• Reopening of Third Street to provide north/south corridor through the downtown.
• Space necessary for the Fox Theatre to reopen and expand now available
About Mid-State Technical College
Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) is one of the Wisconsin Technical College System's 16 colleges; MSTC is a leading provider of higher education offering more than 50 career opportunities through associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates. Student-focused and community-based, MSTC serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin. The college has campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams.
• 84% of 2009 MSTC graduates were employed within six months after graduation; 73% of graduates work in the MSTC District comprising all or portions of Adams, Clark, Jackson, Juneau, Marathon, Portage, Waushara and Wood Counties.
About the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County
The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County was established in 2002 and currently operates seven service locations throughout Portage County. Current sites include: Teen Center in downtown Stevens Point, Jefferson Elementary School, JF Kennedy Elementary School in Junction City, Madison View Apartments during the summer months, Plover, Almond-Bancroft School, and a Truancy and Report Center in downtown Stevens Point. The Boys & Girls Club currently has a registered membership of approximately 1,500 youth and an average daily attendance of 250 youth. The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and enable youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring community members.