UNI Industrial Technology Center Renovation
At its September meeting, the Board of Regents will consider schematic design, project description and budgets for the Industrial Technology Center Modernization project at the University of Northern Iowa. The project, funded by a $40.5 million state appropriation and $4.27 million in private gifts, will greatly assist the UNI Industrial Tech programs in training teachers, and support emerging technologies and subjects in the field. The Board granted permission to proceed with project planning in November, 2020.
The project will update outdated classrooms, small lab spaces and inflexible work areas, in addition to replacing HVAC systems and renovating bathrooms to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Further, UNI’s industrial technology programs are growing and program graduates are in high demand. These facility updates will provide a modern space to prepare students to meet the needs of Iowa’s workforce.
UNI’s engineering and manufacturing technology programs align with Governor Kim Reynolds’s Future Ready Iowa Initiative, which aims to prepare Iowans for tomorrow’s economy through educational attainment and post-secondary training. In addition, Iowa Workforce Development lists construction managers and electrical engineers among its high-demand, high-salary “Hot 50” jobs. UNI’s manufacturing and engineering technology courses are distinguished from more traditional engineering courses, like those at Iowa State University, by adding a greater focus on business applications.
The Iowa Legislature appropriated $1 million for preliminary design for FY 2021. The ITC’s remaining state appropriation requests ask for $15.8 million in FY 2022 and $22.8 million in FY 2023. All told, the nearly $44 million project will be buoyed by $4.18 million in private giving, and will provide one of UNI’s most successful workforce training programs with a modern home.