SIOUX CITY | Work is scheduled to start next week on a $13 million academic village and renovation of a learning center at Morningside College.

Crews are expected to start fencing off a portion of the campus to begin work on a new building that will house the education, nursing and new agriculture and food sciences programs, as well as an academic advising center. The project also includes renovations to Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center.

The building will be constructed between the Eugene C. Eppley Fine Arts Building and the James and Sharon Walker Science Center.

College President John Reynders said the new building will provide a modern hospital simulator and offer new facilities for education classes. It also will expand course offerings into fields currently seeing high demand in the workplace, such as agriculture and nursing.

“It just seems natural for us given our location and role in agricultural science in this region of the country,” he said. “There are a great number of jobs, and many of our students are already going into the field without these courses.”

The construction is part of an ongoing $50 million capital campaign announced by the college in October. So far, $35 million has been raised.

The campaign includes $18 million for campus construction and renovation projects, $13 million for endowments and $19 million for scholarships.

Vice President of Academic Affairs William Deeds said the new building should open in time for the fall 2014 semester.

The agriculture and food sciences program won’t start until 2015, but students can still enroll in 2014 to take prerequisites.

“If I were a prospective college student I would see first-rate facilities,” Deeds said. “The new program will bring students here.”

The project is not expected to impact traffic. One parking lot will be closed and removed.

Reynders said long-range plans call for adding a parking, but current projections show there is enough existing parking for current faculty, staff and students.

“It’s great news, but it’s inconvenient news,” Reynders said. “I think if you go to any campus people say there isn’t enough parking.”

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Nate Robson is the education reporter for the Journal. He writes about issues impacting local school districts and colleges.

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