Friday, September 27, 2019

CVTC Seeks Public Input on Facilities Needs

Board of Trustees approves community survey

Article Photo - CVTC Seeks Public Input on Facilities Needs

Chippewa Valley Technical College is seeking public input on addressing facilities needs to help determine if the Board of Trustees should call for a referendum to fund projects, and if so, what projects would be proposed.

The district board on Thursday, Sept. 26 approved conducting a community survey in the coming weeks, with results expected in November and a December decision on whether a referendum should be held in the spring.

“Quality facilities, designed to meet the needs of today’s workforce as well as ever-changing technology, are critical to fulfilling our mission,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “We continuously assess our facilities and gather input from students, staff, business leaders and community members.”

Barker added that addressing identified needs would allow CVTC to respond to a workforce labor shortage, accommodate evolving technology, address the shortage of affordable student housing and improve safety and security in communities and on campuses.

Barker emphasized that CVTC is only in the preliminary stages of a process leading to a decision on whether to hold a referendum. No decisions have been made on specific projects or spending amounts. According to information presented to the board, the survey will ask citizens for input surrounding several potential projects, including construction of a Transportation Education Center, remodeling and expansion of the Emergency Services Education Center and development of a student housing facility.

Survey respondents will also be asked about their support of various referendum amounts.

“Many of these projects cannot be funded within our annual capital budget,” Barker said. “Therefore, the Board of Trustees would need to authorize a referendum to fund them. However, before they finalize a plan to present to voters, they would like to understand the priorities of taxpayers and their willingness to support these projects financially.”

CVTC is working with School Perceptions LLC, an independent firm with expertise in conducting community surveys for educational institutions. The survey will go out to approximately 20,000 randomly-selected households throughout CVTC’s 11-county district. Those receiving surveys can either return completed forms by mail or respond online with use of an access number provided.

District residents who do not receive surveys will be invited to complete an online survey, with information to be announced in October.

CVTC last held a referendum in 1997, when voters overwhelmingly approved a $10.7 million measure to build the Manufacturing and Emergency Services education centers and a campus in River Falls.

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