With about a week left until the 2018 legislative session begins in St. Paul, senators are caravaning through our area this week to hear proposals for the next bonding bill.
The Senate Capital Investment Committee visited Rochester Community Technical College Monday afternoon for the final leg of a state-wide tour.
At RCTC, the group learned about the proposed renovations and saw the conditions of the buildings.
RCTC is asking lawmakers for money for proposed renovations that would include a 20,000 square foot addition on the west side of campus.
Included in that addition would be approximately 88 faculty offices, an interaction space for students and faculty, and a new high-tech multi-purpose classroom.
"The primary focus of the project is to really improve the student experience," said Shayn Jensson, RCTC Facilities Project Manager. "Right now it's very challenging because we really don't have space for the students to meet with faculty in their current locations, and they're very difficult to find as well. They're just located along a central corridor, so it's really difficult."
Jensson continued, "The current space that they have now leaks, so when we have a thaw, we get water in the building. When we have rain, we get water in the building. There's some issues with their heating and ventilation systems because they all have individual heating and air-conditioning units, which are pretty maintenance heavy; they're not very efficient. So there's a lot of challenges with out current facilities that we are trying to address with the project."
Once the proposed renovation is completed, Plaza and Memorial halls would be demolished.
"So that would ultimately then offset $4.4 million in differed maintenance, so we wouldn't have to request that money in the future and it would reduce out utility bills by about $100,000 per year," said Jensson.