NCC Building H construction

Basking in the sun, the steel skeleton of the Building H expansion is complete at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. The $9 million project will house the college’s growing medical programs and include a simulation hospital for nursing program students.

SHELDON—The $9 million health science building project at Northwest Iowa Community College is working its way up in Sheldon.

The NCC board of trustees heard an update on the construction at its Monday meeting from facilities director Randy Baartman.

“They have just about all the steel up,” Baartman said. “There were a few pieces missing last week and that came in toward the end of the week, so that will get done this week.”

The project includes an extension of Building H, which houses the medical programs at NCC, as well as a major renovation of the existing space. The next step on the remodel side is a new roof, plumbing and electrical work for the old building.

The premier feature of the new facility will be a simulation hospital meant to replicate a real-world emergency room experience. It also will boast dedicated instruction and training spaces for nursing and radiological technology students.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in April, then-NCC president Alethea Stubbe said the project represents the college’s progressive vision.

“It will truly be a beacon of hope for the future as we prepare even more health-care workers for the surrounding communities,” Stubbe said.

Hannah Jinkinson of Sheldon — a second-year radiological technology student who was at the groundbreaking — said the new space will make it easier to learn and better prepare pupils for future studies and work in their field.

“Being able to be more hands-on with learning — that will help a lot,” Jinkinson said. “Being able to apply it as soon as we go out into clinical.”

Baartman also updated the trustees about the two other infrastructure improvements at NCC.

The first is a spruce-up of the on-campus housing with new flooring and roofing. Baartman said that effort is “wrapping up.”

The other project is to repave parts of the college’s expansive parking lot. The work is being done by LeMars company Vander Windt & Sons. Baartman said the $340,000 expense has seen a few weather delays but should be completed by the end of the month.

“They decided to not pour on 5 because of graduation which was a good idea,” he said.

Parking Lot 5 is next to the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center, which hosted summer semester graduation on Friday. NCC awarded 99 degrees at the ceremony.

The Monday meeting was conducted via conference call with trustees calling in and only five key administrators meeting in person, including new NCC president John Hartog

Hartog said at the meeting that he was excited for the Friday graduation and the start of the next semester. The two occasions will be firsts for his administration, which began July 1.

He noted the 99 degrees as being nearly identical class sizes to previous summer sessions.

“We’re very happy about that, especially given this past COVID year, it’s remarkable,” Hartog said. “We not only want to celebrate the good work of our students, but really, the good work of the staff and faculty in helping them to succeed, as we serve them, and as they enter into our ranks of alumni in the years to come.”