PTCC Looking Toward BIG Expansion

Pine Technical & Community College is embarking on a large expansion for the college thanks to $21.4 million in legislative bonding money. The expansion will include a 25,000 sq. ft. addition and a 15,025 sq. ft. renovation of existing space on campus.

The project has an expected two-year timeline and will first include an expansion for trades such as automotive, welding and gunsmithing, along with a new nursing lab. Construction will begin this month. In the fall of 2025, a new gunsmithing technology lab/hallway will be constructed, along with new south and east entrances to the college. In the spring of 2026, an automated systems technology lab/hallway and a healthcare simulation suite will be added.

The addition will be added onto the 80,000 sq. ft. existing building. The new welding lab will be ten times larger than the current lab, and the new gunsmithing program (the only one in the state) will house 72 student stations and a test range. The manufacturing lab will resemble a layout similar to manufacturing companies, said PTCC president, Joe Mulford. A new student commons will connect to the existing lodge and west to the nursing area, which will include a hospital, clinic and homecare-like settings.

“It took a steady hand and consistent voice for us which kept us moving down the field,” said Mulford of Senator Jason Rarick’s and Representative Nathan Nelson’s advocacy for the project in the state legislature.

Rarick, present at the groundbreaking Friday, May 3, said, “This was an easy project to advocate for … everyone present on the bonding tour said that we have to do this project.”

Mulford added, “There were times that this day didn’t seem possible, and some people probably got tired of hearing about it. But it was always about students and faculty. Students at colleges like Pine aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet. They’re family, friends or someone you go to church with. When I started 28 years ago in higher education, I first noticed when students brought their families or kids for graduation, they lined up with faculty, not administrators. Those early graduations taught me the true magic happens in these labs and classrooms.”

Mulford charged the audience to “come back in two years for the ribbon cutting.”

Pine Technical and Community College breaks ground for their new technical and trades addition and renovation. Pictured from left are Jake Kiel (Atscott Manufacturing/PTCC Foundation Board member), Karen Jansen (PTCC Foundation Board member), Nolan Peterson (BCI Construction), Bill Maki (vice chancellor for facilities and finance at Minnesota State), Jason Rarick (local state senator), Ann Voda (BRT Architects), Ann Boldt (PTCC Foundation Board member), Gina Pettie (Pine City acting mayor), Steve Hallan (Pine County commissioner), and Joe Mulford (PTCC president).

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