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Public Safety + Transportation Center

Essential Training for Safer Communities

Project Background

Blackhawk Technical College plays a critical role in the region's workforce. For more than 100 years, the College has supported members of our Rock and Green County communities as they provide necessary services and expand their skills by delivering high-quality, flexible, real-life, workforce training. Each year Blackhawk educates over 8,500 students in nearly 70 programs that form the bedrock of our local economy and provide essential services to others.

After more than two-years of research, planning and stakeholder engagement, the Blackhawk Technical College District Board has approved a $32 million Public Safety + Transportation Center (PSTC) facilities project. On November 3, the College will seek voters' authority to fund the design and construction of the PSTC. The proposed project, immediately adjacent to the Central Campus in Janesville, is a comprehensive training hub for the region's first-responders and transportation workers.

 View the Preliminary Site Plan

Blackhawk with the word VOTE to its right

Do you have questions about the referendum? Visit the frequently asked questions about the project.

Referendum FAQs
Graphic map of Blackhawk's College District

According to an independent study, the project will add more than $83 million to the local economy by 2030.

 View the Economic Impact Study
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The General Election is November 3. Visit the state's official resource for voting information to learn more.

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The Need

Many of the College's highest priority facility challenges are directly related to inadequate, undersized, or the absence of, critical hands-on training facilities. The proposed Public Safety + Transportation Center will be safe, local, comprehensive, and responsive.

A dedicated, controlled environment that provides specialized training equipment including a road course for safe, behind-the-wheel practice for future and current fire safety, EMT, law enforcement, busing and truck driving personnel. The multi-purpose facility would also provide a safe training area for motorcycle safety.

A centrally located, easily accessible facility to serve students and community partners right here in Rock and Green Counties and beyond for specialized training, recertification and regional workforce development.

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. 

A multi-purpose, broad-based facility to support public safety and transportation students and regional partners to meet increasingly complex and rigorous training requirements.

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. 

A consolodated and dynamic facility that streamlines and supports the College mission to provide flexible education in a supportive environment, consistently responding to the changing needs of our students and regional workforce.

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? 

Learn more about the proposed PSTC at Blackhawk Technical College by attending a Public Safety + Transportation Center Community Information Session. You will hear from Blackhawk President Dr. Tracy Pierner and other members of the College team. There will be time for questions/answers.

You can attend in-person or participate virtually. For the safety of our community, facemasks are required. 

For questions about the Community Information Sessions or the referendum, please feel free to reach out at (608) 757-7772 or OfficeofthePresident@blackhawk.edu.

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