Feature

Engines start at new Auto Tech Center

$6.5 million construction project comes to completion

Kirkwood Board of Trustees Chairman James Mollenhauer
Kirkwood Board of Trustees Chairman James Mollenhauer talks about all the new technology that students will be able to use during their studies at the ribbon cutting. Photo by Jeff Sigmund.

The newly built Automotive Technology facility celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 12, 2019.  

Automotive Technology Professor Todd Hesseltine stated that the building provides 38,000 square feet for students to work in.  

According to the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association, the center is worth an approximate $6.5 million.  The project took about a year and a half to complete and as stated on the college’s website, project highlights include enhanced lab space, an increased number of automotive service bays and updated classrooms with enough space to fit a vehicle for training.

There has also been an addition of a Chassis Dynamometer and Transmission Dynamometer allowing for measurement of horsepower torque and wheel speed. 

Auto bay
Students work on updating their skills during class in the new state of art auto bay. Photo by Jeff Sigmund.

Hesseltine said the new building comes with many advanced features that help students become more prepared for the workforce like a stand-alone overhaul room for engines and transmissions and a room for inground chassis.

He added that the Auto Tech courses are also getting revamped in order to give students more experience. The program has a variety of courses that they provide students to work on electric and hybrid vehicles, air-conditioning and many other aspects of the auto industry.  

Hesseltine said that some of his favorite parts about the new building are more space, more hoist, open classrooms and that a car can be pulled into every classroom.  

Auto bay
The new state of the art auto bay can hold 32 cars located in the new Auto tech center opened on Sept. 12, 2019. Photo by Jeff Sigmund.

Hesseltine said the other instructors and himself have a goal of filling up their classrooms with enthusiastic and hardworking students to put the new facility to good use. For more information about the Auto Tech program visit www.kirkwood.edu/automotivetechnology.

Image courtesy of Jeff Sigmund

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