The Maquoketa Community School District agreed Jan. 7 to join a consortium of other area districts, and Eastern Iowa Community College, regarding a proposed career technical education (CTE) center. 

The district was the last to sign on, and the move could pave the way for EICC to issue a bond referendum vote in March that would help fund the project. 

The CTE center would include the construction of new facilities in DeWitt and Clinton, and an expansion of programming at the Clinton Community College campus in Maquoketa, to provide expanded technical training for high school students and adults in the area.

By joining the consortium, schools agree to pay to EICC $2,000 per attending student plus 30% of EICC’s tuition per credit hour for fiscal years 2023-25. The flat fee will increase 5% per year through 2032, plus EICC will charge tuition per credit hour.

The signed agreement follows weeks of questions, concerns and conversations between Maquoketa school officials and EICC.

For EICC’s plan to come to fruition, voters within EICC’s geography — Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Louisa, and Muscatine counties — must pass a $40 million tax referendum. The EICC board planned to hold a special meeting Jan. 11 to take action on the bond referendum vote.

Additional reporting provided by Maquoketa Sentinel-Press editor Kelly Gerlach.