Progress continues for IBM in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Progress continues for IBM in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Progress continues to bring thousands of jobs to Dubuque for IBM's new plant.

That comes as IBM announced more layoffs nationally last week -- cutting 5,000 workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. This follows thousands of layoffs in January at IBM facilities across the country due to the economy.

But crews continue renovating the former Dubuque building to house IBM.

Since IBM announced it was coming to Dubuque, crews have been working to renovate in the Roshek Building. And we're told so far things are on schedule.

As representatives from IBM look over a mock workspace inside the Roshek Building.

"We're on the 9th floor and we're completely rehabilitating the space," said Project Manager John Gronen.

Crews are busy turning the old into new.

"We're basically stripping all of the things that were put in in the early 1970's when the building went from Roshek to office building," said architect Jeff Morton.

Exposing everything from the ceiling to the floor -- remodeling and clearing a space for more than 1,300 IBM employees.

"By this time next year maybe a little later we're looking at 1,300 people most of who will have moved here from other locations," said Mike Blouin, President of Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.

When the new employees arrive -- the building will have a new roof, bathrooms, and state of the art construction. Gronen says the entire project is sustainable.

"We're paying close attention to our envelop, our mechanical systems. Putting state of the art heating and cooling," said Gronen.

IBM says recent company layoffs will not impact the new Dubuque site. Two floors of renovation will welcome 325 employees by June 1st. Another floor by August, another in October with the entire building finished by next January.

"It's gonna look very much like it did 20 years ago, in terms of lights and restored columns and restored flooring but it's gonna be a different type of use," said Gronen.

A use that's bringing new jobs to an old building - bringing new life to Iowa's oldest city. IBM expects to start training in mid-May.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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