Mid-State Technical College is aiming to finish construction on their new downtown location by mid-March and hopes to begin holding classes there in the summer session of 2014.
One of the benefits of moving to the new building will be having substantially more space.
The downtown location offers close to 20,000 square feet more than they have at their current location.
The extra room will allow the school to expand their student body.
“We don’t think it’s wise to move mid semester, so we won’t be starting classes in the new building until summer,” said Steve Smith, campus dean of Mid-State.
Many changes have been made to the mall in preparation for the school. One change included installing large windows that will let in a lot of natural light.
“This building has served us well and I think the new space will be very nice for students,” Smith said. “I think Stevens Point will look at this building and be proud.”
Mid-State is currently located on Michigan Avenue, but the building is no longer large enough to accommodate their growing student population.
“We’ve outgrown this campus, its smaller and smaller everyday,” said Christy Villarreal, vice president of Student Senate and Student Activities. “This will give us a chance to grow in enrollment and overall.”
Some classes, like early childhood education, will be moved from the Wisconsin Rapids location to Stevens Point in the fall of 2014.
Other departments, such as the health program, will soon be expanding.
“I think it will be more convenient for college students, a lot more spacious and open up more opportunities for classes,” said Jennifer Lewis, a Mid-State student studying for her GED.
Many also hope that the relocation will help bring more commerce into the downtown area.
With the 2,800 people going to school at Mid-State Technical Collegein Stevens Point each year, the downtown stores and eateries should see much more business.
“It was part of a re-development effort of the downtown area. It was a way that we are able to secure a tenant or an organization, that would create a high foot traffic, and spark other economic development,” said Michael Ostrowski, director of community development.
“I think it’s great, as a resident I think this is what Stevens Point needs downtown,” Villarreal said.
Mid-State will be holding a sentential celebration and a public open house on June 4 along with tours for the new building on 1001 Centerpoint Dr.
Sarah McQueen & Emily Margeson