Our Town: NICC opening major school expansion at its Peosta campus

School starts 2022-2023 with major renovation and new college president
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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PEOSTA, Iowa (KCRG) - Students are walking into a whole new Northeast Iowa Community College.

Since 2020, work has been ongoing at the Peosta campus on a four-phase expansion program that radically changes the two-year college’s footprint in the community.

And the work is substantially finished as the 2022-2023 school year begins.

“We want to have an environment where the environment is conducive to the learning experience,” said Dr. Herbert Riedel, the new NICC president who took over at the school on July 1.

The $19,162,400 campus expansion was completed in four phases.

It included new classrooms, labs, learning and student support services, and an updated cafe’ in the center of the building.

“I walk through these buildings here in Peosta and I say this is just wonderful, wonderful resource,” said Dr. Riedel.

It also comes at a time when community colleges are finding it hard to grow school populations.

Northeast Iowa Community College has seen a steady loss in students.

In 10 years, the Peosta campus has gone from a population of more than four thousand students to a population of just over 3100.

NICC Population Graph
NICC Population Graph(KCRG)

And across the campus’ main parking lot, just 500 feet from the front door, is a private development called College Suites that is now open to students.

It’s not your basic dorm room.

College Suites offers 82 one, two and four-person fully furnished units that can be home to almost 200 students.

“They pay one fixed installment per month, all utilities are included,” Wes Schulte, managing partner of Manchester, Iowa-based Merit Development, explained.

The facility also includes study rooms, fitness, and cardio rooms, a commons area, an outdoor plaza, and a patio area.

“I think it was desperately needed and it’s exciting to see the future of what might be as the college continues to grow and College Suites helps out,” said Schulte.

It also fits in with the college’s plans to be a bigger partner in the community by growing the campus offerings that will drawn new students.

“As the President, it’s important to understand that my role is to bring people together and to draw the best out of everybody who’s here,” said Dr. Riedel.

Dr. Riedel joins NICC after serving as president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Alabama.

Before that, he served as vice president for instruction and student development for Northeast Texas Community College in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

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