Bolton & Menk donate for new lab at SCC

·2 min read

Aug. 3—In four years, students at South Central College in North Mankato should have a new high-tech learning lab to help prepare them for jobs in civil engineering, architectural drafting and GIS.

Bolton & Menk, which has long hired SCC grads, will donate money and in-kind support to help build the new lab.

The Bolton & Menk Infrastructure Solutions Lab will provide a high-tech learning environment for students in various programs, including civil engineering technology, geographic information systems, and architectural drafting and design.

"From buildings to highways, our students in these and other programs will make a significant impact on the infrastructure of our region," SCC President Annette Parker said at an event on campus Wednesday.

Parker said the college will seek additional funding from the state university system as it puts together its request for bonding money from the state Legislature. She said Bolton & Menk's support will help SCC's case for state funding.

"Having the industry support we have makes a very strong proposal," she said.

Parker said that even if SCC misses out on getting state bonding money — which is highly competitive — she is confident the lab will be built via other funding sources.

Bolton & Menk, based in Mankato, is not making public the amount of its contribution.

"We value our partnership with South Central College. Their commitment to developing quality industry professionals is essential to advancing the infrastructure throughout Minnesota and beyond," said Bradley DeWolf, president and CEO of Bolton & Menk.

"Our investment is not just to the college, but also in our future employees, building safe, sustainable, and beautiful communities where we all are able to thrive," DeWolf Said

DeWolf said the firm currently has 40 SCC grads on its staff. The firm has about 800 employees. He said it gets many employees from SCC, Minnesota State University and other area colleges and universities. The company also has branches in South and North Carolina and draws employees from colleges and universities there.

Erin Aanenson, executive director of the SCC North Mankato Campus Foundation, said Bolton & Menk has long been a strong supporter of the college: "Their generous contributions include monetary and in-kind support, scholarship funding, employee service on the foundation's board of directors and committees."

Next steps for the lab include determining an appropriate location on the campus and working with faculty to plan the best possible space for students to learn.

Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2026.