The approval of an $80 million dollar referendum for Western Technical College does not just mean big changes to the school's facilities. It will also mean big changes to the school calendar and academic offerings.
The college will be moving to a year-round calendar starting in fall 2013. That means full-time students will be on a trimester schedule with expanded class offerings in the summer.
President Lee Rasch says there will also be more evening, weekend and online classes.
"This is a strategy to try and serve more working adults in our community. We know there are a lot of people in the community (that) can't afford to quit their job to go to school full-time," said Rasch.
Rasch predicts Western will be serving 1,000 more students a year by 2020. He says the recently approved referendum will help the college re-tool its academic offerings more quickly. The plan was to make academic changes regardless of whether the referendum passed or not.
"We're going to do it program by program and use the calendar strategically to increase student success and graduation rates," he said.
54% of voters approved Western's referendum. Six major construction projects are expected to take about four years to complete.