The ideal classroom is not just a place where a class is held, but an environment from which the student can learn through direct interaction with the surroundings. Chippewa Valley Technical College broke ground for construction of such a facility Tuesday, Aug. 19.
The 46,000 square-foot Energy Education Center is an expansion and renovation project that includes classrooms and labs that will improve and increase program offerings at CVTC and provide training opportunities for workers in existing and evolving energy industries.
The facility will incorporate many energy-efficient design components following environmentally friendly strategies. The building is designed as a learning laboratory for students, who will be able to learn with hands-on experience from the systems in use.
“The operations of the building will be tied into the instruction we give our people,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “It’s a merger of operations and instruction.”
The building and surrounding grounds will be home to the CVTC programs in Electrical Power Distribution; Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology; Agriscience Technician, Landscape, Plant and Turf Management; and Transportation. The programs will focus on energy technology in three areas, including energy generation, energy distribution, and efficient utilization and conservation.
Gov. Scott Walker commented on the connection between energy and Wisconsin’s key economic sectors in remarks prior to the groundbreaking ceremony.
“When you think of energy, you think of manufacturing,” Walker said. “But you also think of agriculture. You look at the key industries in the state and they are very much connected here.