MTI breaks ground for Trades Center$18.5M building is last step in south campus consolidation.
By: Anna Jauholan and Chris Huber , The Daily Republic
Mitchell Technical Institute drew closer to consolidating into one campus Monday after the Mitchell Board of Education approved final bids for the Trades Center and MTI broke ground for the building.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, MTI president Greg Von Wald recognized former president Chris Paustian for pioneering the south campus, which sits along East Spruce Street and is visible from Interstate 90. The school’s other, older campus is across from Mitchell High School near the middle of the city.
Von Wald said when he started as president of MTI, he talked to many faculty and students about how to improve the experience of the school.
“Overwhelmingly, they told me to consolidate into one campus,” he said. “With this ceremony, we are taking the final step toward doing that.”
The Trades Center is the final step in the consolidation plan, which has been ongoing for years. Once the building is complete, MTI will vacate the north campus.
The Trades Center will house programs including agriculture, power sports and construction.
Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves spoke at the ceremony about the important role that MTI plays in the education system in Mitchell.
He noted that one in six graduating seniors from Mitchell High School’s 2012 class have chosen MTI as the place to further their education in the fall.
Mayor Lou Sebert said everyone in Mitchell benefits from the growth at MTI.
The school board, which technically oversees MTI under the umbrella of the Mitchell School District, met in a special meeting earlier Monday at MTI’s north campus to approve five Trades Center bids for plumbing, fire protection, ventilation, temperature control and electrical.
The total cost for the Trades Center will be $18.5 million, with Puetz Corp., of Mitchell, overseeing the project.
The bidders approved Monday were:
• Hander Inc. Plumbing and Heating for the plumbing at $1,345,220;
• Total Fire Protection for the fire protection at $171,221;
• Tessier’s for the ventilation at $1,200,960;
• Johnson Controls for the temperature control at $127,966; and
• Electric Construction Co. for the electrical work at $1,620,298.
The project is funded through the state Vocational Education Fund, which funds capital projects at each of the technical schools in South Dakota, Graves said.
Bonds are issued to fund projects like the MTI Trades Center and student fees are used to pay those dollars back.
“There are no local property tax dollars that go into this project,” Graves said.