Hawkeye Community College broke ground for its new 45,000-square-foot Adult Learning Center in fall 2016, and since that day the project has continued to build momentum and support.
“We’re on target to meet our opening date,” said Dr. Linda Allen, president of Hawkeye Community College. The new center, located in downtown Waterloo, is possible thanks to a 2015 bond referendum overwhelmingly approved by voters in Hawkeye’s 10-county service area.
“Since we first received voter approval in February 2015 we’ve had tremendous support from the community,” Dr. Allen said. In addition to the voter support approving funds for this and other college projects, as of January 2018 the Adult Learning Center has received financial support from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association, R.J. McElroy Trust, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, and Lincoln Savings Bank.
“We’re already halfway to the fundraising goal,” Dr. Allen said. A larger community campaign will begin soon, and the eventual sale of the Metro Center will also contribute to that effort.
While a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held when the project is complete, a special beam signing event was held in November as the center was just taking shape. Students, faculty, staff members, and community supporters gathered on-site with silver markers to write their names and messages of hope and excitement on the beams before they were enclosed in the walls.
The Adult Learning Center is the first major project to come out of the voter-approved bond referendum in 2015. This spring the college will begin the design phase for the second project: a state-of-the-art health sciences building on Hawkeye’s Main Campus.
Adult Learning Center
The new center will combine and expand services from Hawkeye’s Metro Center and former Martin Luther King Jr. Center. It will be home to Hawkeye’s High School Completion, English Language Learning, Family Literacy, Citizenship, Senior Companion, and Integrated Basic Education and Skill Training (I-BEST) programs. Some of the highlights include:
Child Development Center
In addition to providing a safe childcare option for students, the center will provide hands-on learning for students in a new I-BEST Child Development Assistant program.
When students register for classes, staff members will work with them to identify any additional needs, like housing or transportation. Students can make connections with community support services through special video conference rooms.
A ground-floor coffee shop will be open to the public and provide hands-on experience for English Language Learning students, as well as Hospitality Management students from Main Campus.
Student Art Gallery and Community Meeting Space
Gallery space on the third floor will feature the work of Hawkeye student artists and offer a place for community organizations to hold meetings and events.
Student Health Clinic
A clinic providing health services to students.
In addition to computer labs, the new center will include classrooms designed for Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL), which combines lecture, simulation, and hands-on experimentation.
The center will be located on a MET bus route, with curb cutouts for easy passenger loading and unloading.