Black Hawk College breaks ground for new Sustainable Technologies Building

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Black Hawk College trustees Dorothy Beck of Rock Island; Mike Boland of East Moline; David Emerick, Jr., of Rock Island; Donna Frye of Moline; and Evelyn Phillips of Orion break ground Sept. 6 for the college’s new Sustainable Technologies Building at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline.

Black Hawk College broke ground Tuesday, Sept. 6 for its new Sustainable Technologies Building at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline.

The 13,000-square-foot, $3.7 million facility will be home to the college’s new Materials Science Technology and Sustainable Technologies programs.

“We hope that the building will not only house educational programs, but also serve as an educational tool itself,” said Dr. Michael Rivera, dean of instruction and student learning.

“The building is just the beginning. It’s just a launching pad for what will happen inside of it,” he said.

In 2008, Black Hawk College revised its Engineering Technology curriculum and developed a Sustainable Energy Certificate, said Dr. Rose Campbell, executive vice president and vice president of instruction and ITS.

Conversations about future workforce training needs led to a decision to develop a new Materials Science Technology associate degree and three related certificate programs.

“In August 2010, we met to outline what we would need in laboratories to appropriately train students in technologies that would support our business and industry partners,” Dr. Campbell said.

The college formed an advisory board of representatives from local industries to create the new Materials Science Technology curriculum and determine equipment needs.

“The space is designed with the sort of equipment that students will use in the industry,” Rivera said.

Numerous innovative sustainable technologies have been incorporated in the building’s design. These features include:

·       11 kW wind turbine

·       48-well geothermal field to heat and cool building

·       Two, 20-panel solar arrays

·       Vegetative (green) roof

·       Solar thermal heating to supplement hot water heater

·       Daylight harvesting

The building also will be used for BHC Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) workshops and short-term training for businesses and homeowners in areas such as green guidelines for remodeling projects, introduction to wind systems, solar domestic hot water systems and energy auditing.

The college anticipates that construction will be completed in April 2012. BHC Professional and Continuing Education classes will be in the building in the summer of 2012 with college-credit classes moving in August 2012.

Numerous area legislators, mayors and other dignitaries attended the Sept. 6 groundbreaking ceremony, expressing support for the college’s new facility and programs.

“This is all about vision,” said U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill. “This is truly an investment in our community.”

While the building is located in Moline, the city’s mayor acknowledged that, “this is a regional facility,” Mayor Don Welvaert said. “Black Hawk College has stepped forward as we have seen so many times in the past.”

State Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-72, noted that he came from a plumbers and pipefitters background and expressed his excitement about the building using solar and geothermal energy.

“Geothermal heating and cooling is right up our alley, so we’d be glad to help you install it,” Verschoore said.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-36, attended Black Hawk College and promised his support as chair of the Illinois Senate’s Energy Committee. He offered to utilize his contacts in the energy industry to help Black Hawk College.

State Rep. Don Moffitt, R-74, commented that sustainable energy programs are “the wave of the future.”

“I commend you for seeing that wave coming,” Moffitt said.

Dr. Rose Campbell, executive vice president and vice president for instruction and ITS, speaks about the development of the college’s new Sustainable Technologies Building at a Sept. 6 groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility at the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline.