By Sean P. Mulhall – Editor-in-Chief
Vice Chairperson Richard Verburg filled in for an absent Bert Bleke at the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees meeting Monday.
New trustee, David Koetje was also absent from the meeting. Koetje was selected by the board last week to fill the seat left vacant when Richard Ryskamp died last month.
With a short staff, the board proceeded with business as usual, beginning with the 2014-15 Audit Report. Vice President of Finance and Administration, Lisa Freiburger, introduced Vicki VanDenBerg, a representative of Plant Moran, the company who completed the mandatory audit for GRCC.
VanDenBerg informed the board of the college’s financial standpoint, calling it a “very solid year” for GRCC.
With no student success report or finance update, Student Alliance President Brandon Sinclair addressed the board, highlighting the last Student Alliance meeting.
During the board chair update, Verburg showed enthusiasm for Ryskamp’s replacement, before announcing the 15-year anniversary of the Thompson M-TEC center.
“As an individual and a soul, we could never replace Rich Ryskamp,” Verburg said. “But to complete this board of seven, that is something we can do. On Oct. 5, after a week of careful study and reflection, the board elected David Koetje as trustee through 2016.”
Before the president’s update, GRCC president Steven Ender invited Donna Krag, Dean of Institutional Research, forward to inform the board of final enrollment numbers.
The Capital Outlay submission was presented by Victoria Janowiak, Executive Director of Operational Planning, and Tom Smith, Executive Director of Facilities. The report highlighted construction needs on campus. According to Smith the DeVos campus is the most in need of a makeover. GRCC will look to spend $8.5 million (half being provided by the city of Grand Rapids) for construction on the Ford Fieldhouse.
“We will be submitting the Ford Fieldhouse as our number one project priority,” Janowiak told the board. “The fieldhouse is, first and foremost an academic facility. The renovations that would be proposed would convert some underutilized, obsolete spaces into more functional and useable classrooms.
“It would also address infrastructure issues, bringing mechanical and electrical systems up to code … ADA compliance issues that we currently have in the facility and significantly improve life saving systems.”