Black Hills Energy purchases land from Iowa Western Community College for gas training, operations facility

Published on July 10, 2018 by Chris Galford

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The Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) announced the sale of up to 13 acres near its campus last week to Black Hills Energy, which plans to create a new natural gas training and operations center in the newly purchased location.

Black Hills intends to invest $11 million into the new facility, which will include gas operations, office space, a meter shop, and training space. While construction should begin later this year, it is not expected to be completed until 2020.

Once the facility is in use, Black Hills representatives said that more than 300 field and office employees from Iowa and surrounding states would pour into the site over the course of the year for various training sessions.

“We are excited that a company of the stature and significance of Black Hills Energy is going to be our neighbor,” Dan Kinney, President of Iowa Western Community College, said. “This is going to be an outstanding expansion of the employment base for the Council Bluffs and a significant addition to the local economy. We look forward to developing a closer relationship with Black Hills Energy and helping them to meet the training and educational needs for their current and future employees.”

If IWCC is interested, the option is also open for a training partnership between the college and its enterprising neighbor. Black Hills Vice President of Operations Tracy Peterson said that the new site would allow them to enhance their training capabilities and make for a more efficient and reliable operation overall.