MASON CITY, Iowa - With the new school year at NIACC comes a brand new and renovated McAllister Hall that includes more expanded space and newer technology, fit for those who are wanting to go into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related field.
"They are leaps and bounds ahead of what we had before."
Tyler Monson just graduated from NIACC last year, but is taking some extra classes before he transfers to a 4-year university.
"I graduated in May, and I thought I was not going to get to use them, so I'm actually pretty glad I got a chance to."
Coming into the new space, he is immediately impressed, especially with fume hoods at each work station in the chemistry labs.
"Before, we were having to cram into the fume hoods that they had and the ones that were working, and now everything is right at your unit, and it's pretty fancy."
U.S. Representative Steve King got a tour of the facility on Tuesday, inclding Professor Grant Stephens' chemistry class.
"I love talking to those people, letting them know what we're doing, have them really see what students in the future are going to be doing."
He is glad he had the chance to take part in how the space was laid out.
"We actually had a lot of say on the design. We actually sat with our techs a lot to say exactly what we wanted, and seeing from my labs, I got exactly what I was asking for. Everything I wanted ended up being there. I can't think of anything that I'm really missing at this point."
And College President Steve Schulz says they're seeing what they can do to enhance the new space even more.
"You can always add additional technology, and I think as we move forward, we'll continue to enhance the learning space by adding technology."
The renovation of McAllister Hall was part of a larger capital campaign project that included a health care simulation facility, a diesel technology center, and enhancements to the music program, including the addition of new pianos.