By Jacob Roushia - October 20th 2022



On Wednesday Blackhawk Technical College began construction on the final phase of the college’s Public Safety—Transportation Complex project.

The new Public Safety Education Center broke ground earlier this week at the central campus. The complex will provide class space for the college’s emergency services, fire and police education programs. The new space also will include a track, gym and fitness center.

“The emergency services, fire and police programs outgrew the existing space that was available,” said Liz Paulsen, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for Blackhawk Technical College.

JP Cullen, a construction firm based in Janesville, is the general contractor for the project. The Public Safety Education Center is expected to be completed by late spring 2024.

The new additions of a gymnasium and track center will provide a resource that hasn’t been present on campus in recent years, Paulsen said.

“The Public Safety Education Center will be about 75,000 square feet and is projected to cost $19.8 million, which includes construction and design,” Paulsen said.

The Public Safety—Transportation Complex project is funded through a $32 million referendum that was approved by voters in 2020. The complex includes several additions to the central campus.

The Public Safety Education Center along with all the other buildings were designed by the Angus-Young architect firm.

“The education center is the final phase of the project,” Paulsen said. “The other buildings were all finished by summer of 2022.”

The other phases of the project includes several buildings and projects that began construction in 2020.
The largest addition is the Center of Transportation Studies building. Among other programs, the auto diesel classes started to be held in the Center of Transportation Studies building in the spring of 2021.

The Public Safety Education Center will be adjacent to the Center of Transportation Studies once it is completed.

Another addition included a scenario village for emergency services to be used for drills and training. The village on campus has been used for students, local police and fire departments and has been rented out.

“There is a mock house and storefront that has been used for training purposes,” Paulsen said. “We always prioritize district departments when it comes to using our facility. Just recently the Madison Police Department used our state-of-the-art facilities to train new recruits.”

Other training programs wouldn’t be possible without the complex including the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course pad.

“Police departments have used the courses for mock high speed chases,” Paulsen said.

Other additions included a fire tower and Motorcycle Safety Course.

The new buildings and resources were planned to expand on existing programs at the college.

The new complex will be able to serve an abundance of programs including Automotive Technician, CDL/Truck Driver Training, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician, Electric Power Distribution, Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Protection Technician, Law Enforcement, Motorcycle Rider Safety, as well as professional training and skills development.

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