STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW)-- "Our move has exceeded our expectations," said Voker Gaul.
For 5 years now, Mid-State Technical College has been in their current location in downtown Stevens Point. Occupying what was once JC Penney.
"When we first moved here from our old location we had already expanded twice and we needed to expand capacity again," said Gail, dean of the Stevens Point campus.
Expand they did, nearly double. From 30,000 to 56,000 square feet.
"The students have more places to be, students have more places to use equipment, to find a nice comfortable place to study," said Bob Smith, an accounting instructor at the college.
"Numbers have been good here in the Stevens Point campus particularly," said Gaul. "We do approximately 700 different people coming through this building every week."
That's part-time and full-time students. That foot traffic has been a big boom to the downtown economy, to the tune of 50-million dollars. The college is part of the downtown alliance committee with other businesses.
"What I like most is in between classes, my classmates and I, we can easily walk to a restaurant," said Colette Stoflet, a student at the school.
"I can't say that Mid-State gets all the credit for that. Kudos to those businesses," said Gaul. "I think us bringing those 700 students down here a week, bringing all those external organizations in really helps."
So it goes without saying, if the first 5 years is any indication, the future looks bright.
"Our programs are constantly changing to meet the needs of local employers," added Gaul. "So when a student graduates from Mid-State and finds that first job, they can hit the ground running."