Spokane Journal of Business

North Idaho College plans $15 million tech-education facility

Architects West to design large Rathdrum building

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North Idaho College has selected Coeur d’Alene-based design firm Architects West Inc. to lead the design team for a planned $15 million Career Technical Education Facility that will nearly double the school’s enrollment capacity in seven programs, says Chris Martin, NIC’s vice president for finances and business affairs.

The facility will be located on the south edge of Rathdrum on 40 acres of land the Coeur d’Alene-based community college owns next to the Kootenai Technical Education Campus, Martin says. KTEC is an alternative high school operated by a consortium of three North Idaho school districts that focuses on applied skilled learning through which students can earn industrial certifications.

The NIC Career Technical Education Facility project is expected to go out for contractor bids in April and to be completed and open to students in the fall of 2016, Martin says.

“Right now, we’re working on the design to see the best use of space and what we can feasibly get into that space,” he says.

The NIC facility will have 71,800 to 100,000 square feet of space, and it is being designed to accommodate NIC’s technical education programs in automotive technology, diesel technology, machining, industrial mechanic and millwright training, outdoor power-vehicle technology, and welding, he says.

The technical education programs provide students with skills that are in high demand by employers in and around North Idaho, Martin says.

Some of the programs are located on the NIC main campus in Coeur d’Alene and others are based at the Workforce Training Center at the Riverbend Commerce Park in Post Falls.

They currently occupy a combined total of 46,300 square feet of space.

The technical education programs, some of which are at enrollment capacity, currently have a combined enrollment of 170 students.

The planned larger facility would have room for an anticipated total enrollment of 330 students within 10 years, Martin says.

NIC will fund the project through $11.5 million in capital reserves, $2.5 million in operating reserves, and $1 million in tax-anticipation notes, he says.

Architects West, which will be the primary designer on the project, has formed a design team that includes LSB Consulting Engineers PLLC, of Spokane; the Spokane office of Seattle-based Coffman Engineers Inc.; Coeur d’Alene-based Trindera Engineering Inc.; the Coeur d’Alene office of Boise-based J-U-B Engineers; and Opsis Architecture, of Portland, Martin says.

Architects West was chosen from six local and regional firms by a search committee comprised of NIC board members and representatives, and community members.

The firm has designed nine projects for NIC, and dozens of other educational facilities for North Idaho school districts and the University of Idaho.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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