Mitchell Technical College will break ground Tuesday, April 18 on a 36,410-square-foot Ag Power Diesel building years in the making.
“Getting everything back on our campus is long overdue,” Mitchell Tech President Wilson said. “It will enhance the students’ experience by allowing for connection with peers and instructors across the campus without losing midday time to commute across town.”
The Ag Power Diesel building, which will be annexed onto the northeast corner of the Nordby Trades Center, will feature state-of-the-art ag power and light truck labs, effectively completing Mitchell Tech’s plan to bring all of its programs to one campus on East Spruce Street. The 7,270-square-foot Light Truck Lab building located at 115 Pepsi Street is expected to be sold once the new building is completed.
The Diesel Power program offers two associate degrees, with students learning foundational diesel mechanics in their first year, before choosing to specialize in either ag equipment or light trucks.
“We need to have mechanics who can support growing industry needs,” MTC Diesel Power Instructor Joel Rassel said. “Right now, there are far more jobs than graduates. This expansion will give us the space we need to grow the program, introduce students to more equipment and work-based scenarios under one roof and provide them with the skillset they need to succeed in industry.”
In addition to its direct impact on the Diesel Power program, the expansion will enhance five other programs – Agricultural Business, Agronomy, Animal Science, Precision Agriculture and Power Sports Technology – providing much-needed space to complete their own lab exercises.
“While collaboration among multiple programs is important and presents unique opportunities, this space is needed in order to grow each program further. The Agricultural and Transportation Division needs more space in order to really dig into the complex education and trainings that are vital to the success of our students’ contributions to their future employers,” Precision Agriculture Program Director Devon Russell said.
Funding for the $10 million project was secured through a combination of private and state funds. McGough Construction of Sioux Falls will lead the project, and Puetz Design + Build is the architect. Wilson added that the project would not be possible without strong support from industry leaders, as well as the governor’s office, legislators, South Dakota Board of Technical Education and the Mitchell School Board.
“This event is an opportunity for us to celebrate the hard work of those folks who have helped make our vision a reality, and to celebrate the bright future that it means for our students and our program,” he said.
The groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public. It will take place Tues., April 18, in the lower-level foyer of the Nordby Trade Center on the Mitchell Tech campus at 2 p.m. Signage will direct the public to the building, with the best route being via the third entrance to campus off Spruce Street.