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Riverland breaks ground on trade program center

September 24, 2019 05:55 PM

(ABC 6 News) - A groundbreaking for a new transportation, trade, and industrial education center was held Tuesday at Riverland Community College’s Albert Lea campus.

“It’s a historic event for this campus for sure. We haven’t had such an event or major construction work like this in four decades, so this is definitely quite a day for us,” said Riverland President Adenuda Atewologun.

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Riverland’s chief financial officer, Brad Doss, says the new facility will help recruit students interested in trade programs.

“In some cases, we were down to less than 10 students in a particular program, so we’re already seeing the increase this year. Some of those programs have 20 to 24 students in them already, so just the excitement that’s out there from knowing that these programs will have new facilities to work in next fall,” said Doss.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said the new center will transform the campus, "From the past stereotypical dark and dingy shops to the modern bright and energized teaching and learning spaces for our students. These modernized spaces will enable the college, more specifically our talented students and faculty, to meet the growing demands for skilled technicians and operators well into the future."

The 40,000 square foot project will cost 10.1 million dollars. 

“Skills and experience gained within these new and improved labs and spaces will enable our graduates to hit the ground running and to be the workers that Minnesota businesses need to thrive,” Malhotra said.

The center will also include a new driving range and relocate Riverland's truck driving program from their Austin campus to Albert Lea.

Construction of the project will begin next month and will be completed in August of 2020.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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