News Release

Published on Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Western Technical College, along with its healthcare partners, is cutting the ribbon on the newly remodeled healthcare education wing at Western’s Mauston Campus. An Open House will be held on Monday, Oct. 2, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. and will include a tour of the new facility. The event is open to the public.

Population growth, a need for healthcare workers, and a collaborative relationship between Western and Mile Bluff Medical Center are the driving forces behind the remodeled facility. According to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, population growth in Juneau County is one of the highest in Western Wisconsin at 9.6 percent. This increase in population also increases the need for healthcare services in the area, and Juneau County is currently unable to fill its need for skilled healthcare workers, particularly nurses.

Western was approached by local healthcare employers with a request to increase the number of nursing students in the area. The request came with a generous offer of support to partially fund costs for equipment and a faculty position. Western responded by offering to remodel the Mauston Campus to expand nursing and emergency medical services (EMS) education, bringing education and training to a larger population of students in the Juneau County area. Lee Rasch, president of Western Technical College said, “Western is proud of the collaborative history we have with the Mauston community and communities throughout Juneau County. Our vision as a collaborative, innovative educational leader in the communities we serve provides the basis for our mission of student success.”

The remodeling project was completed at a cost $750,000, and was designed by architect Mark Dillenburg with Millennium Associates of Green Bay. The 7,500-square-foot facility houses an EMS lab and storage space, a simulated patient training area, a nursing skills lab, and faculty offices. An existing sheet metal training area and classroom were relocated within the space.

The new facility provides the latest teaching technology. The 2,300-square-foot nursing skills lab is used for nursing assistant and associate degree nursing students throughout the week, including evenings.

Jim Waller, Western’s Mauston Campus administrator, said the remodeling allows for more sections of nursing assistant classes and increases the number of students who are admitted into the program. “Expanded facilities and additional faculty will allow Western to turn out more nurses and healthcare providers to help meet the growing demand in our area for these valuable professionals,” he said.

For more information on the Open House or to find out about additional training and education opportunities at Western Technical College Mauston Campus, call 608.847.7364 or visit the Web site at www.westerntc.edu.