Eric Tadsen

Madison Area Technical College District Board members join College President Dr. Bettsey Barhorst at the groundbreaking ceremony and centennial celebration held on Sept. 21 at the Truax Campus.

Ashley Salmon, Clarion News Editor

The year of history for the college officially started with a groundbreaking ceremony that also acted as 100th anniversary celebration on Sept. 21.

“It’s a celebration of the past 100 years and the beginning of our next 100 years,” said Keith Cornille, Vice President of Student Development.

The groundbreaking ceremony included speeches in honor of the new facilities being built. There was also a reception and community conference in front of Truax.

Cornille also said that commemoration of the past 100 years and upcoming 100 years will continue throughout the year.

“Our graduation ceremony will also be graphed around the plot of the next 100 years and celebrations that way,” he said.

One of the most monumental changes that occurred over these past 100 years was the development of the Truax campus, Cornille said. However, he feels that the most important aspect of these past 100 years has been the students, especially in the coming up with the plans for the construction.

Cornille believes that the college should be most proud that it provides a quality education to all those students to help them become productive community members, regardless of where they came from or where they have been.

“I think that if you ask anybody if there was one thing that they’re probably most proud of, it’s the students that have completed their programs and have gone on to do great things with their lives,” Cornille said.

The construction that is taking off will add many new facilities and improvements to the campus. The campus will feature a building exclusively for health education and one for protective services.

“As far the benefits that it provides for us, it really will improve our instruction,” Cornille said.

The Gateway Center will be an extension of the main Madison College building. It will feature all of the college’s enrollment services. This will allow them not to be buried in the middle of the building. The Gateway Center will also include the library. Due to the additional space, new active learning features will be implied. Madison College is also gaining an academic support services program, complete with writing, math, science and world language centers.

In addition to the construction at Truax, all of the regional campuses will have development going on as well to improve the facilities.

“There’s going to be a lot more spaces that engage students that are more interactive for them to learn,” Cornille said. “I think it’s really going to reflect what students have been asking for a long time.”

Cornille believes that all members of Madison College will appreciate these changes. Also, he said that the college has received support from the community because of the referendum being passed last year. That support is allowing the college to have new ways of learning and for learning for the future.

“It’s a really exciting time to be at the college whether you’re a student or you’re a staff member, or even a member of the community,” he said.

The expected timeframe of this construction encompasses the span of multiple semesters. The regional campus construction is projected to be done by next summer. The health building is slated for about two years and the other buildings are projected for 18 months.