The Iowa Central Community College board of trustees approved bids for new culinary arts classrooms.
Iowa Central received four bids, which were opened Tuesday. The lowest came from Woodruff Construction of Fort Dodge, with a base bid of $647,900.
Dan Kinney, Iowa Central president, said the expansion is necessary.
"We're in a facility that holds about 20 to 40 students, and right now we have well over 100 students in that program," he said. "Part of what we've been looking for in the last few years is the ability to expand their classroom facilities to a size that fits what their current class structure is."
With its new Triton Cafe building completed, Iowa Central's former cafeteria will be converted into classrooms for its culinary arts program.
"There will be four different classrooms over there," Kinney said. "There will be a baking classroom, and then two culinary teaching classrooms. And then there will be one lecture hall classroom that will be a demonstration kitchen."
He added, "We thought that would be a perfect area over there because they've already got hoods and a lot of the mechanical that you need for a culinary arts program."
In addition to the base bid, the board also approved an alternate bid for an Ansul fire suppression system for an added $500, bringing the total bid is $648,400.
The project is scheduled to be completed March 31.
Board President Mark Crimmins commented about the contract before the board voted.
"We don't have any liquidated damage clause in the contract, which I thought I had requested earlier and apparently got out-voted," he said. "The next time we have a contract with a completion date, I'm not going to vote in favor of it unless we have liquidated damages. As we found out with this building (Triton Cafe), if you don't have liquidated damages a completion date means nothing."
The board, including Crimmins, approved the bid unanimously.
"It's going to be good," Kinney said. "We need it, because of the ability to grow that program. And it's been growing. The space they're in, they're just on top of each other. This will help spread them out."