DMACC History Part III

By: Alex Payne

In this final part of our series on DMACC History we will look at the future of DMACC including possible expansions in Knoxville and Waukee along with a look back on the 2000s, 2010s.

The 2000s brought expansions and major innovations, which would make DMACC stand out with state-of-the-art expansions.

In March of 2000, plans for the new DMACC West Campus were unveiled. The campus would open in October of 2001. April of 2000, the Ankeny Campus Child Development Center opened a new state-of-the-art playground.

The DMACC Bears Men’s Basketball team won their first Iowa Junior College Division II Conference championship.

DMACC’s third president, Dr. David England, began duties as president on July 18, 2001. July also brought the unveiling of The Meridian sculpture, overlooking the lake on the Ankeny Campus. The DMACC Alumni Association commissioned the piece.

After President England was arrested on marijuana possession and trafficking charges on March 12, 2002, the DMACC Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of England. President Rob Denson began work on November 3, 2003.

The Newton Campus offered new degree completion programs, with a partnership between DMACC and Buena Vista University in August 2002.

In September 2004, the Urban Campus’s Charles H. Betts Jr. Building was dedicated after a remodel of the 22,400 square foot building Former Mail Services Inc. Building.

Bringing a new look to all of the DMACC Campuses, DMACC uses the summer of 2005 to install new signage on all campuses.

In October 2007, DMACC officials broke ground on a $14 million Health Sciences Facility. The 58,000 square foot building opened December 8, 2008.

A new $1.7 million Electronic Crime Lab, was announced by U.S. Representative Tom Latham would be built on the DMACC Ankeny Campus

The future of DMACC is extremely bright according to DMACC President Rob Denson. Although overall enrollment is down six percent, Denson points out that vocational enrollment is up, as well as the number of students coming to DMACC right out of high school.

Currently there are 38,642 credit students, and DMACC touches nearly 70,000 students overall. Denson states that studies show DMACC’s capacity for credit students is 44,000.

DMACC has a strong future according to Denson; “It’s an exciting time,” Denson said. Currently, Denson is meeting with officials in Knoxville to consider the future of a DMACC Career Academy there; Waukee is working on a Career Academy to open in 2015 and DMACC has started to offer programs in Pella.

“We do not need to make money, we just cannot loose money,” Denson said.

Denson pointed out how Perry wanted a Career Academy, so they built the building them selves and gave it to DMACC.

“Our goal is to have a facility within a reasonable distance to our residences,” Denson said.

DMACC does not have the money to build a campus or Career Academy in every community that wants one, but DMACC will provide programs for those communities interested.

“We are in the education business; we have to balance the books,” Denson said.

But growing into new communities are not the only expansions for DMACC.

“Urban Campus is bursting at the seams,” Denson said.

Denson sees expansions on the Urban Campus, including more STEM education, more facilities on the Ankeny Campus, and a West Campus expansion coming in the future.

Denson would also like to see DMACC reach out better to more diverse groups like the Latino and Somalian populations. He would also like to be able to make better connections with local universities. Denson especially would like a better connection with Iowa State University, one mirroring that of Kirkwood and the University of Iowa.

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