IF Waukesha County Technical College officials get their way, WCTC will soon have a bigger track for its emergency vehicle driving course.
Officials from WCTC met with the village of Pewaukee Plan Commission on Oct. 13 to consult on a proposed expansion of the school's emergency vehicle operating course (EVOC).
The plans call for an expansion of the track into the extreme southwestern part of the campus, with a motorcycle course around it that includes a four-way stop and roundabout, along with overall mass grading, a motorcycle pad, pad lighting, a stormwater basin, railroad crossing, road network that surrounds a new commercial driving license course, two metal sheds, a berm and landscaping. There would also be a classroom east of the CDL course and surrounding road network.
According to Pewaukee planner Mary Censky,the college has seen a shift in the demand for workforce specialties, and this one, in particular, appeared to be in a growth mode.
"They have more demand than they have capacity to serve without running very extreme hours of operation," Censky said at the meeting, explaining the reasons behind the expansion. "Even with that, they're finding that they still can't provide enough curriculum to students where the demand is high."
Specifically, there's more demand for the trucking, law enforcement, criminal justice, fire training and emergency medical service fields, according to WCTC director of public relations Shelly Kuhn.
"We're doing all we can to ensure that we train these individuals and get them out on the road so they can contribute to our economy," Kuhn said.
Most commissioners supported the project, along with groups mentioned by Kuhn, including the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, the Waukesha Fire Department and a number of trucking companies.
However, commission members also expressed concerns about the potential noise issues that would come with the expansion, along with a dissatisfied resident of the Steeplechase subdivision west of WCTC. Andrew Barth stated in an email to Village President Jeffrey Knutson that the noise levels generated from the existing track were excessive.
"Last year, they operated this course from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., beyond their already ridiculous stated hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.," Barth wrote. "Those stated hours are completely unacceptable for a residential area, and I can't believe this type of industrial activity complies with whatever use permits they have with the village."
WCTC officials said they were doing their best to resolve any concerns, including sound testing at various points of the proposed site, trying out air silencers on air brakes and reducing the hours of the sessions. They have also held two public information sessions and have gone door-to-door in the Steeplechase subdivision to alleviate concerns.
A future meeting date on the project has yet to be determined.