On February 7, 2013, Normandale Community College celebrated the opening of the Partnership Center. The completion of the Partnership Center finished a two-year stretch where Normandale added nearly $50 million worth of facilities to enhance the campus.
The Partnership Center is a $23 million project that received funding through a bill in the summer of 2011. Construction began on the 76,000-square-foot building in October of that year and was completed in January 2013.
During the ceremony, Normandale President Joe Opatz, Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller and MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone spoke about the impact that the Partnership Center will have on the campus and community going forward.
Rosenstone said, “This facility epitomizes what our commitment at MnSCU is all about, which is to provide access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans. This is a place of hope and opportunity.”
Pogemiller added, “Allowing bachelors and masters degrees to happen here in partnerships with other MnSCU campuses, particularly (Minnesota State University, Mankato) and (Metropolitan State University), is cutting-edge stuff and is important to the future of higher education.”
The Partnership Center adds 27 classrooms, two engineering labs, faculty offices and more student gathering spaces to the college. It also increases the potential capacity of Normandale by 2,880 students.
One of the primary focuses of the Partnership Center will be to provide bachelor's degrees through partnering four-year schools. Minnesota State Mankato and Metro State are already on board with several four-year programs. Minnesota State Mankato will be offering Communication Studies and the Twin Cities Engineering program, while Metro State will have classes in Accounting, Business Administration and Advanced Dental Therapy.
The Partnership Center will also provide space for Normandale's Accounting, Business and Hospitality programs, along with Continuing Education and Customized Training.