Institutional Jones Hall Energy Training Center Kirkwood Comm. College

In 2011, Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA, wished to expand its Industrial Technologies program to include maintenance on wind turbine generators.

They brought “417 feet of learning down to earth” with a 1225 square foot addition to Jones Hall to enclose a fully equipped nacelle from a wind turbine. The roof was framed such that the 150,000# nacelle can be removed/replaced in the future.

In addition, the project, referred to as the Energy Training Center, includes an observation area, varying types of glass that are monitored for heat gain, and a jump tower. The jump tower allows students in the program to experience an emergency exit from a nacelle; fully harnessed and tied off, students jump from a much less intimidating height of approximately 30 feet.

The roof of the addition will be an outdoor classroom for students learning to install or maintain solar arrays. The construction was coordinated so a 70,000# electric hub could be placed in the adjacent building through a hole in the existing building wall before the ETC construction commenced.