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Ribbon cutting helps to open WITC expansion

Those attending last Thursday's ceremony were treated to a tour of the new and renovated space at the New Richmond campus of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.1 / 3
Participating in last week's ceremonial ribbon cutting at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond were (left to right) Mayor Fred Horne, Trustee Morrie Veilleux, WITC President Bob Meyer, WITC Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Minor (Superior), WITC Board of Trustees Member James Beistle (Balsam Lake), Chad Derrick, Bill Derrick, Kevin Derrick, Polk County Board Chair William Johnson, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning Larry Gee, Tom Derrick and Campus Administrator Joe Huftel.2 / 3
Campus Administrator Joe Huftel speaks to the crowd.3 / 3

A good crowd was on hand Thursday, Sept. 6, to mark the opening of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College's new expansion and renovation project at its New Richmond campus.

According to Joe Huftel, campus administrator, the $4 million project positions the technical college for future demand for training and retraining.

He told the crowd that the aggressive construction schedule (just a total of 68 business days in length) made for a hectic summer, but most of the work was completed in time for classes to start in late August.

"We got it done," he said. "It was not an easy task."

Huftel applauded Derrick Commercial Contracting for their help with the general contractor work. He also thanked the sub-contractors and architects for their efforts that made the tight timeframe work.

Huftel said the 8,000 square feet of expanded space, which includes office cubicles for staff and six new classrooms, as well as the renovated library resource center and improved power equipment center were the key ingredients for the project.

"It's very beautiful space," he noted.

Huftel said the newly-completed space will allow the local school to meet the current needs of students, but it will also allow the campus to consider new training programs as well.

WITC Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Minor said it was clear that the system had to approve the New Richmond project because of the pressing need for more and improved space.

"It was very easy for the board to give our commitment to this," he told the crowd.

Just because WITC was named the sixth best technical college in the nation several years ago doesn't mean the institution could rest on its laurels, he said.

"We need to stay ahead of the curve," he said.

Following the ribbon cutting, those in attendance were treated to a tour of the new and renovated space.

The project included $1.5 million of new construction; $1 million in upgrades to the existing main campus building; and $1.5 million for an overhaul of the 45-year-old power and equipment building.