The Grand Rapids Community College administration has been approved to move forward with the renovation of the Applied Technology Center on campus.
According to Amy Koning, Dean of Workforce Development, The first stage of funding is over and now the school is moving forward with planning the renovations and working out all of the details.
“The funding was approved about two weeks ago, and now we are focusing on talking with the architects,” Koning said. “We are still discussing a start date.”
The cost to fund the renovations is projected to be $12,735,000.
“It’s going to be some great renovations and additional square footage for the ACT building,” Koning said.
The two disciplines that will be renovated and receive additional square footage are Manufacturing and Information Technology.
Around 20,000 square feet will be renovated and an additional 20,000 square feet will be added on.
“We will be able to offer students a lot of the Computer Information System course offerings (CISCO) training, CISCO certification, cyber certification, networking and all of those types of things in the Information Technology area,” Koning said. “And then in the Manufacturing area, we will be adding capacity to one of the labs which will provide an opportunity for us to to add additional courses or increase the capacity of the existing courses.”
By expanding the lab and other courses, Koning hopes that the faculty can better serve a multitude of manufacturing programs as well as apprenticeship programs.
While the building is being renovated, some classes might be moved to other areas in the building that aren’t under construction or will be moved to other classrooms on campus.
In addition to the renovation, new technology will also be introduced.
“We will be bringing in new technology to both the CISCO certification and Information Technology area,” Koning said. “We’re going to be adding new technology for data center simulation which will be exciting for the students.”
The funding will also allow for new technology for the Hydraulics and Pneumatics lab, including new trainers for students to use.
As far as new faculty goes, Koning does not foresee any additional staff needed. However, she claims that there could be opportunities for adjunct teachers to join the GRCC staff to support the possible growth in classroom capacity.