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WITC-Rice Lake commemorates new Health Education Center

A large number of supporters attended the commemoration of the new Health Education Center. From left: Rice Lake Chamber Ambassadors Kathy Kadlec, Roger Rivard and Bert Richards; WITC Divisional Dean – Allied Health MaryAnn Pebler; WITC Board members Lorraine Labaree and James Beistle; Rice Lake Campus Administrator Craig Fowler; WITC Board Chair Dave Minor; WITC Board member Chris Fitzgerald; Chamber Ambassadors Anne Gallagher, Wendy Markgren and Jackie Molden.

(9/12/11): A ribbon cutting was held Thursday, Sept. 8, at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s Rice Lake campus to commemorate the opening of the new Health Education Center. The addition includes room for the new dental assistant program, remodeled information technology classrooms, faculty offices and utility upgrades.

Three years ago, WITC-Rice Lake's health care classes were moved to the former Marshfield Clinic building due to lack of space. This partnership with Marshfield Clinic allowed WITC-Rice Lake to start the Medical Assistant program, but it also meant that students were taking their medical courses at one location and the remainder of their classes on the main campus.

The college began considering alternatives for this inconvenient situation for students. Soon it was decided the best option would be building an addition to the main campus and bringing the students and staff back to one location.

SDS Architects designed the addition and remodeling of a large part of the existing space, featuring large windows, sky lights, high efficiency lights and a modern multi-colored décor – all completed in just 73 working days.

The new HEC provides updated labs and classrooms for associate degree nursing, dental assistant, certified nursing assistant, medical assistant, occupational therapy assistant and therapeutic massage.

The $1.5 million expansion to the campus shows “a commitment to Northwestern Wisconsin in educating and re-educating the workforce for available jobs,” said Dave Minor, WITC Board Chair.

A recent survey of graduates showed 91 percent of grads getting jobs within six months, 72 percent of them staying in WITC’s 11 county district.

“The new classrooms and labs provide the latest technology and spaces designed specifically for health instruction, preparing students for health careers in the real world,” said MaryAnn Pebler, WITC Divisional Dean of Allied Health.