Bond Levy Continuance

On September 11, 2018, voters within our district were asked to decide whether or not to continue the existing bond and interest fund levy rate of 28.8-cents per $1,000 taxable assessed valuation We are honored and pleased that the measure passed with a majority vote of 84.16 percent in favor of continuing the bond across our District. The College is grateful to our community members who voted in support of the College and the work we do.

The $39 million bond levy will be focused in four main areas:

  1. Improving infrastructure
  2. Enhancing security
  3. Updating technology
  4. Creating innovative and collaborative learning spaces

Why is this important? More than 25,000 students have graduated from the College. Northeast Iowa Community College trains the professionals you rely on every day - nurses, office workers, paramedics, mechanics, carpenters, accountants and many more.

What is the next step? On December 17, 2018, the Northeast Iowa Community College Board of Trustees selected Dubuque firm Straka Johnson Architects, P.C. to lead design, construction and renovations for projects funded by the passage of the $39 million bond levy. The selection was based on the recommendations of the College, a nine-member search committee and the Request for Proposals (RFPs) formally submitted to the College for consideration.

Straka Johnson Architects serves clients in the Dubuque tri-state area, and the firm has worked on a wide range of project types including religious institutions, education facilities, health care facilities, industrial facilities, recreational facilities, commercial institutions, transportation terminals and facilities, restaurants, multi-family residential and single-family residential projects. Straka Johnson will first focus its design services on the largest, most comprehensive projects identified by the College: the renovation of the Peosta campus Main Building, the Max Clark Hall building on the Calmar campus, the Dubuque Center and the Town Clock Business Center in Dubuque.

Next steps will involve a participatory planning process that includes the input of building users, staff and the community to help guide construction and renovations. During this process the architects will work with the College to obtain information on room arrangements, services provided in the buildings, and types of equipment and furnishings. The results will assist in assessing current conditions and create viable options for decision-making.

Facility Conditions

Bridge to the Peosta entrance showing structural damage.

The bridge to the Peosta campus entrance was originally constructed in 1978. Current conditions indicate structural damage, making the bridge unsafe for users. The entrance to the Main Building requires a redesign and rebuild.

Outdated Calmar science lab

Lab areas are outdated and do not provide an optimal learning experience for students. Renovations would include technology infrastructure upgrades and layouts that reflect contemporary learning environments.

Bubbling on the exterior iron sleeve of a Peosta building.

The original iron sleeve around the campus shows cracking at the seams and bubbling from weather conditions. The exterior lacks sufficient insulation and does not meet energy efficiency standards.

Outdated Calmar restroom that does not meet accessibility standards.

Restrooms require remodeling to allow greater accessibility for persons with disabilities and to meet accessibility standards commonly found in public institutions.

Outdated Peosta classroom.

Classrooms are outdated and not conducive to students’ learning experiences; updates are needed to reflect contemporary higher education learning environments.

Frequently Asked Questions

The current bond and interest fund levy rate is at 28.8 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation. If voters decide to continue the levy, the new bond issuance will be structured to be paid off at this current 28.8 levy rate. This is not a new tax; the rate would not change. A homeowner whose home has an assessed valuation of $150,000, with an approximate net taxable value of $78,000, currently pays $1.89 a month.

The College’s district, Area 1, includes public school districts in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties, as well as sections of Bremer, Buchanan, Jones, Jackson and Mitchell counties.

It is very likely that you encounter an NICC graduate every day in your community. Our graduates are the trained professional you rely on: nurses, office workers, paramedics, mechanics, carpenters, accountants and many more. The College is dedicated to securing the vitality of our northeast Iowa workforce into the future by continuing to train and educate the workforce of tomorrow and to meet the state's goal of Future Ready Iowa: that 70% of Iowa's workforce will have completed education and training beyond high school by 2025.

The College determined there are needed renovations and updates throughout its 5,056-sq.-mile district and identified four major priorities: educational programming and services, which include creating flexible, updated and collaborative learning spaces; infrastructure, including renovations to the Peosta Campus Main Building and Max Clark Hall on the Calmar campus; security, including district-wide camera and door security systems to enhance safety; and technology priorities that include replacing network servers and cybersecurity systems.

To keep our College competitive and attract students who want to continue to live and work in our communities. We need to ensure our curriculum and equipment are up-to-date, so that our students are marketable and our businesses and industries remain competitive. 97% percent of NICC graduates are employed or continuing their education within one year of graduation.

Through voter support, the College built a new Industrial Technologies building on the Peosta campus that houses classrooms, labs and open labs for career and technical programs, such as Welding, CNC, Industrial Maintenance and Auto Mechanics. At the Calmar campus, the funding allowed NICC to construct a Student Center with food service, library, bookstore and all student services departments available in a central location for students. A renovated wing on the Peosta campus Main Building provides classrooms and lab space for health and science programs, and a new library was built that serves as the Peosta branch of the Dubuque County Library. Some renovations were also completed on the Calmar campus, including the Industrial Technologies Building and the Wilder Business Center.

According to the Commission of Elections and Auditor's Office, school districts and merged areas in Iowa are not allowed to put anything on the General Election Ballot this November. Iowa Code [§39.2(4)(c)] mandates that during even-numbered years, the College must put this issue before the voters in February, April, September or December special elections.

Yes! Based on student, staff and faculty input from our 2015 Master Facility Plan process, as well as an on-site needs analysis and updates made by architects, the College’s Master Facilities Planning Committee and Board of Trustees identified the following priorities for renovation: infrastructure, security, technology, and educational programming and services.

Projects will most likely be completed in three to seven years, but it is possible that the process could take longer. We need to make sure we accommodate classes and training and to adjust accordingly so there is as little disruption to our students as possible.

The College has committed to supporting families and lifting communities through education and training for more than 50 years. Graduates of Iowa's community colleges benefit from higher earnings, reduced needs for social services and secure employment over the course of their post-graduation careers. A 2017 Iowa Department of Education study of community colleges and their projected benefit-cost for Iowa taxpayers indicated that: “the sum of the social savings and the added income in the state is $1.4 billion. In return for their public support, taxpayers are rewarded with an investment benefit-cost ratio of 3.5, indicating a profitable investment.” This state data indicated communities will see $3.50 - $9 in ROI from every dollar invested.

We have been good stewards of public resources and take very good care of our buildings. In many cases, however, our facilities have not undergone major renovations since their initial construction in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Northeast Iowa Community College’s only sources of revenue are state aid, property taxes, tuition, gifts to the College and grants to support our mission. We have raised tuition. As good stewards of resources and public tax support, we believe that maintaining affordable tuition and fees for our students is integral to our mission as a community college. Raising tuition alone would place a significant financial burden on our students, and the revenue generated would not be enough to fund these comprehensive renovations.