The 13,000-square-foot sustainability behemoth won’t be completed until late May, but faculty and staff couldn’t wait to show off the newest building on Black Hawk College Quad-Cities campus in Moline.
In the fall semester, students will be using the new Sustainable Technologies Building with its three classrooms, solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling as well as a 900-square-foot vegetative roof.
A tour on Wednesday ended near a 120-foot wind turbine set on top of a small hill near the new building.
“Between the wind turbine and our solar panels, we’ll be generating about 9 percent of our electricity needs for this building,” said Mike Phillips, vice president for administration.
Phillips said several data points measuring the output of the alternative energy generators in the building would be on display on a screen just inside of the building so students and community members will be able to track the building’s sustainability.
The building will house courses in a materials science technician program that the college is touting as the first of its kind in the Quad-City region.
Adebayo Badmos, assistant professor of engineering technology, said he is excited to offer a new space and new technology to aspiring materials science students.
“The program has been designed to appeal to a different, broad range of students,” he said.
“We have designed it to be enticing to every different type of person: the high school student interested in learning the basics and probably proceeding to a four-year
program, or the high school student that is interested in learning the skills that could take them directly from class to work.”
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Phillips said the $3.7 million project was paid for using 2010 general obligation bonds.
The building will be available to students and community members as well.
“We’ll have a number of short-term training programs and community education programs for the basic homeowner who would like to learn how they can be more energy efficient in their homes,” said Rose Campbell, executive vice president and vice president of instruction.
Campbell said the new building was the first added to the Moline campus in 40 years, and she was glad it would be interactive.
“To have a building like this where the students can actually see the technology at work, the solar panes and the wind and geothermal,” she said. “They see what that does and how it relates to everyday life, what we’re doing in the industry and what we can do in our own personal homes, so that’s the fun part.”