Ship-Shape: NWTC Sturgeon Bay Campus Redesign

By Joan Koehne '17

I had a nautical experience last week with a prehistoric fish. I walked into the Sturgeon Bay campus of NWTC and the first thing that caught my eye was a beautifully painted fiberglass sturgeon. The sturgeon is one of the largest, longest-living fish alive. (The oldest sturgeon caught in Wisconsin was 82.) The sturgeon is positively prehistoric--it’s been around for over 200 million years. NWTC Alumni blogger Joan Koehne smiles next to a sturgeon sculpture.
Aside from the sturgeon sculpture, there’s nothing prehistoric about the NWTC campus in Sturgeon Bay. In fact, the campus is undergoing a $3 million, referendum-funded renovation. Sturgeon Bay is surrounded by water, so the campus is decorated with a nautical theme. The focal point of the library is an enormous compass embedded in the flooring and a blinking lighthouse extending to the ceiling. The facility has been under construction for the past year and will be ready for its maiden voyage when school starts in a few weeks. Soon everything will be ship-shape, with an improved design and modernized learning space. 
Campus Manager Cheryl Tieman said 90% of the campus is changing, to keep pace with changes in student learning. Cheryl calls it “right sizing.” The traditional classrooms of 20, forward-facing desks are giving way to smaller rooms where groupings of chairs face each other and students have a clear view of the group’s super sized computer screen where they can pull up websites, watch videos, or work on group projects. Rooms are wired with the latest classroom technology and designed as collaborative spaces when students engage with each other and with their instructors. Construction worker walks through NWTC Sturgeon Bay Campus.
General studies, nursing, diesel mechanics, business—all programs have a new and improved learning environment. One thing that hasn’t changed is the size of the campus. While the dimensions haven’t changed, NWTC Sturgeon Bay has been entirely redesigned to be more functional and student-friendly. Gone are the rows of lockers and the straight hallways. In their place is a more welcoming and open campus with comfortable spaces for students to connect to a video conference, work together, or simply hang out.
Here’s a portion of what’s new on campus:
·         A Welcome Center with a bookstore and student services offices
·         A fitness center for students and staff
·         The Career Closet where students can pick out two free professional outfits a semester
·         A private Mothers Room
·         A Metallurgy Lab where students can study and test metals
·         Private treatment rooms for the Therapeutic Massage students

The flexibility of today’s instruction and the modernized learning spaces give students more educational options than ever before. Some of the students taking advantage of the new spaces are life-long learners; the campus-based Learning in Retirement group offers over 130 classes for retirees.
Cheryl said returning students will be surprised and delighted with the changes taking place on campus. The redesigned space will benefit everyone embarking on their educational voyage at NWTC Sturgeon Bay. Don’t miss the ribbon cutting and open house on Monday, Sept. 24.