Kirkwood's transportation program will be moving to a new location
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:04
The former Midland Forge plant in Cedar Rapids will soon become the new Kirkwood Continuing Education and Training Center.
According to Tom Kaldenberg, executive director of Facilities at Kirkwood Community College, the 18-acre factory lot will become the new home of Kirkwood’s transportation program.
Kirkwood’s crisis training programs also will be relocated to the building, which is located on 50th Avenue SW and is near Kirkwood’s main campus in Cedar Rapids.
“It’s a large facility. We’ll only use about a third of the facility for classroom space. The rest will be storage,” Kaldenberg said.
The center also will feature a driving range, where students will practice operating vehicles for truck driving classes and motorcycle safety classes.
Kaldenberg indicated that the facility could have programs added to it in the future.
According to Kaldenberg, the Continuing Education and Training Center will have to go through a series of renovations and modifications before it can be opened.
“We have to replace the roof on the building and we have to replace the concrete for the driving range, and there’s a third phase where we’ll go in and do the classrooms,” he said.
Kaldenberg predicted that the renovations will be completed around January and that the current site of driver training will be used until then.
Once the transportation programs are moved to their new location, the old truck driving facility will be torn down and eventually transformed into a series of gardens and golfing greens. Kaldenberg said he believes that both the greens and gardens will be useful in providing hands-on training for horticulture students.
Kaldenberg said he is optimistic about the new center.
“It’s going to be a great facility,” he said. “The old facility is getting old and a little worn around the edges and the asphalt is beginning to crack.
“This will be a state-of-the-art motorcycle training/ truck driving facility, as well as offering OSHA classes. And we’re really excited to open it up.”