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Public Safety and Transportation Center

Educating and enhancing our community's safety.

Project Background

After acquiring land adjacent to Central Campus in 2019, the College established a Community and College Research and Planning Team to evaluate our needs, explore opportunities, and develop recommendations on how to maximize the use of the land. Working with various groups, staff, and stakeholders, the team found that our current public safety and transportation training facilities are inadequate, limit training opportunities and growth, and create unsafe conditions. 

The College lacks a number of critical training facilities needed by our public safety and transportation students. Our current facilities do not include a fire tower or burn pads, a high-speed track, or appropriate simulation labs. In order to meet the training requirements of our students, the College is forced to rent these facilities across the region. For example, Blackhawk rents time at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, conducts tactical training at Mercy Health System, and uses the City of Janesville pistol range. Scheduling, organizing logistics, and traveling to these off-campus sites is inefficient and costly for our students and staff. 

Blackhawk plays a critical role in training the transportation and public safety professionals that will serve Green and Rock counties for generations to come. Local police and fire departments are also in need of facilities for ongoing training and certification of their personnel. Our current facility is outdated and limits opportunities for our students and community partners to practice the skills that will keep them, and our communities, safe.

Increased demand and training requirements for public safety and transportation professionals have led to many of our programs outgrowing their current physical locations. Classes often spill out into hallways disrupting other students or have to be held on weekends when there are fewer students on campus. 

Currently, truck driver, law enforcement, fire science, EMS, and motorcycle safety training programs are held in campus parking lots. These areas were not designed, engineered, or built for this purpose. It is common for truck driving or public safety students to be practicing complicated behind-the-wheel maneuvers while other Blackhawk students are entering or exiting campus. In addition to creating potentially unsafe conditions for our students, employees, and visitors, this arrangement also limits space available for parking on campus.  

Proposed Project

To address these needs, the Research & Planning Team recommended that plans for a new Public Safety and Transportation Training Center be developed. 

Public Safety and Transportation Center (PSTC) Preliminary Site Plan
The proposed project includes several training facilities including an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC), fire training facilities, specialized simulation labs, and additional classrooms to serve students in the following programs:
The proposed Public Safety and Transportation Center will:
  • Improve student, staff, and visitor safety
  • Increase student instruction time; decrease travel and set-up time for practical training
  • Reduce operational costs from the rental of/travel to other facilities
  • Practical training labs and simulation areas designed for current and future needs of the programs and partners
  • Increase efficiency by centralizing resources 
  • Increase professional development and new training offerings for community partners

Estimated Project Timeline

estimated project timeline
  • November 2020: PSTC Referendum Approved 
  • November 2020 to Spring 2021: Architectural Design & Project Bidding Underway 
  • Spring 2021: Groundbreaking 
  • Summer 2021 – Winter 2023: Construction Underway 
  • Fall 2022: Outdoor Elements Available for Use
  • Spring/Summer 2023: Celebrate Grand Opening of the Public Safety and Transportation Center!

Questions/Feedback? 

Stay tuned for more information regarding the Public Safety and Transportation Center! 

In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with questions or feedback at (608) 757-7772 or OfficeofthePresident@blackhawk.edu.

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