BELOIT — Blackhawk Technical College wants to once again expand its footprint in Beloit, this time at the Beloit Public Library following the success of a partnership that’s been in place since 2018.
The Beloit City Council could take action on Monday to approve a five-year lease with Blackhawk Tech that would allow the college to build out into existing library space for two classrooms.
“It is exciting to see the plan come to fruition,” said Beloit Public Library Director Nick Dimassis. “I couldn’t be prouder of how our two institutions have partnered to the benefit of so many in our Beloit community... With the BTC presence, those young learners will now have a visual reminder of where it eventually might lead. This is so important, because if you can’t imagine it, it makes it that much harder to believe it’s attainable. Many will now know it’s within their reach.”
Since 2018, the college has offered several of its Beloit classes from one of the library’s public classrooms. The success of the partnership is now spurring the new growth. The build out into existing space at the library that’s currently not in public use would include two classrooms, a GED testing center and a small office.
“We are very excited to expand our presence in Beloit through our partnership with and presence at the Beloit Public Library,” said Blackhawk Technical College President Tracy Pierner. “It is important for us as a college to provide opportunities to students throughout our entire district, and this expansion will allow us to continue to grow our offerings and serve the Beloit community.”
Blackhawk Tech will fund the initial build out of the project, but any future expansions would come at a cost to the city.
When built, the new classrooms would also be allowed for use by the library when not being used by the college, according to city documents published in the March 2 agenda.
The college closed its Eclipse Center campus in Beloit in 2018 following a restructuring decision.
In other business
The council could consider suspending the rules and voting on an ordinance request by the School District of Beloit to host a Latino community celebration on May 16 in Riverside Park. Organizers are looking to set up food trucks and vending booths from local restaurants. The event will be free and open to the public, the agenda said.
The Beloit City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, at City Hall, 100 State St., for agenda review followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m in the City Hall Forum.