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Progress

DMACC looks to bring Maytag campus to life

Additional buildings to provide business, educational growth

DMACC’s goal for the Maytag campus, which is currently mostly vacant, is to partner with businesses that 
will provide an economic boom and also educational opportunities for the college’s students.
DMACC’s goal for the Maytag campus, which is currently mostly vacant, is to partner with businesses that will provide an economic boom and also educational opportunities for the college’s students.

Big news struck Newton last October when DMACC received its largest donation in school history. Seven former Maytag corporate buildings, worth about $9 million, were donated to the Newton campus.

Now, DMACC is in the beginning stages of talking to potential tenants to fill the new space. The college is aiming to use the Maytag campus to bring in commercial tenants and businesses, which will serve multiple purposes.

Executive Director of DMACC Business Resources Kim Didier said the school wants to recruit businesses that not only bring jobs to Newton, but also provide hands-on learning opportunities for DMACC students.

For example, the possibility of information technology companies is being discussed. By bringing an IT company to the Maytag campus, DMACC students could serve apprentice-type roles while taking college courses and possibly work their way into full-time employment, Didier said.

Didier, who is project manager for the Maytag campus, also mentioned the goal of bringing in a business that has a cafeteria. This would give culinary students food and cafeteria production experience.

The goal is to collaborate with companies that will enrich the learning experience at DMACC.

“Those things coming together, those are the really exciting pieces, I think,” Didier said.

In addition to bringing in businesses, DMACC is considering using some of the space for student housing. Student housing is a need that has been identified, but the school is not yet sure how to address it.

“We’ve had great success with the court reporting program at the Newton campus — we’re the only court reporting program in the state of Iowa — and that brings in people from all over the state and even outside of the state,” Didier said. “So there’s been an increase in demand for student housing.”

There are currently two businesses in the Maytag campus. Aureon staffs a call center support office in Building 18, and Health Enterprises occupies more than 17,000 square feet in Building 16.

In addition, Building 2 is space that DMACC has rented out for events. There are a couple weddings scheduled for the space this summer, and it will host the Iowa Sculpture Festival this fall.

The City of Newton approved up to $6 million in tax increment finance assistance for DMACC in March. About $1.5 million of that assistance will be available as the school invests in the campus, Didier said. That money will go toward projects like repairing the roof of an electrical building and fixing up the elevators in the Maytag campus.

Newton DMACC Provost Joe DeHart is excited about the possibilities of the Maytag campus. He said once the school finds tenants to offset the caring costs of the building, it will start using the space. He floated the idea of a baking school in the additional buildings.

“There’s also been interest in creating a brewery in there, and we could have a brewmaster program,” DeHart said. “It’s just nice to have that space, sort of light-industrial space, that you can do a lot of career and technical programs in.”

Newton Fest in June will be one of the first opportunities people have to be on the Maytag campus, DeHart said. The provost is looking forward to community members seeing the facility and what the possibilities are.

“I’m very excited about the fact that we’re going to host a carnival in the green space for Newton Fest,” DeHart said. “The street dance is going to be there in the courtyard area, so people will really get a chance to come in and interact with that campus.”

The main DMACC building was at one time a manufacturing facility for Maytag, and the school’s Career Academy was a donation as Whirlpool was exiting Newton. Didier, who used to work for Maytag, sees the connection in this new campus.

“There’s a whole legacy there of DMACC in Newton and the synergy with Maytag, in which our very own campus was created out of the generosity of Maytag,” Didier said. “We’ve got that long history and legacy there. This is a continuation.”

Contact Justin Jagler at 641-792-3121 ext 6532 or jjagler@newtondailynews.com

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