Dunwoody College of Technology has plans to expand its Minneapolis campus with a $10 million renovation.

The update comes as the school adds to its degree offerings to address the skilled-labor gap in Minnesota and across the country.

The renovations include turning some unused gym space into a welcome center and learning center at Dunwoody’s campus just west of downtown Minneapolis.

“Now we are at a spot where we really have to make some investments to really transform the campus to be able to continue to grow,” Dunwoody President Rich Wagner said.

Dunwoody is in the process of adding a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering to its School of Engineering. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development predicts that almost 5,000 new mechanical, software, electrical, and civil engineering jobs will need to be filled in Minnesota by 2024.

Falls Event Center in St. Paul on hold

The transformation of a St. Paul railroad complex into an event center has been put on hold with the Utah-based company in charge of the renovation embroiled in a federal securities case.

The historic Chimneys at Energy Park railroad complex, on Energy Park Drive near the Bandana Square office center, was bought for $1.75 million by the Falls Event Center early this year. The Chimneys was supposed to be renovated and reopened by the end of this year, but no construction permits have been issued.

According to the Oregonian newspaper, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last year subpoenaed entrepreneur Steve Down and several of his companies including the Falls Event Center. Regulators are looking into “the possible sale of unregistered securities to investors, allegedly using schemes to defraud,” the Oregonian said.

Steve Down didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“We are confident that this investigation does not involve the day-to-day operations or management of the Falls Event Center. … We look forward to a quick and positive conclusion of this investigation,” said Sam Ramirez, chief operating officer of the Falls Event Center.

The company plans to continue in St. Paul, he added.

“The Falls Event Center remains committed to our building in St. Paul and continue to believe that our brand would bring great value and opportunity to the market,” Ramirez said. "That being said, we often purchase properties based on their value and future opportunity, not with a specific start date in mind and we have not yet made a determination as to when construction would begin."

Nicole Norfleet