News Release

Published on Thursday, October 09, 2008

Western Technical College held a room dedication ceremony Thursday to show appreciation for a generous in-kind donation by Merlin and Carol Huber of Onalaska. The donation allowed Western to acquire a building next to the existing Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Center in the North La Crosse Industrial Park and develop a state-of-the-art facility for the Automotive Technician program, which was previously housed in the Coleman Center on the downtown campus.

“Moving the Automotive program to the Industrial Park has created a transportation services campus for the college,” said Western President Lee Rasch. “And, on that campus we now have arguably the finest technical college automotive training facility in the state of Wisconsin. This would not have been possible without the Huber family support for this facility.”

“The staff, the faculty, and the students are grateful to the Hubers for recognizing the importance of having our automotive and diesel programs located in the same area,” added Rich Westpfahl, dean of the Industrial Technologies Division. “This facility will, over the years, benefit thousands of students directly and many others indirectly as those well-trained graduates join the local workforce.”

The Automotive Technology Center was completed in fall 2007. Forty students are currently enrolled in the automotive programs at Western.

“This facility has allowed us to significantly expand the Automotive Technician training,” said Doug Thesing, head of the program. “We now have a dynamometer testing room, alignment lifts, a transmission lab, and a lot more storage. In the Huber Training Bay we conduct air conditioning and electrical training with nearly double the space that we had in our previous facility.”

For information about programs and services at Western Technical College, call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at