By Matthew Rios – Collegiate Staff
The Tom and Joyce Wisner and David and Michelle Bottrall Applied Technology Center is celebrating 25 years this year. The ATC has been the nexus of the Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University partnership since 1986.
FSU and GRCC partnered to offer students education for in demand programs. In 1991, the ATC opened its doors.
Since then, the center has been home to programs from nuclear medicine and micro brewing to graphic design. Programs for plastics technology, computer applications, electronics, machine tooling, computer labs, an urban rooftop garden and the Heritage restaurant, a product of our nationally ranked culinary institute, are but a handful of the programs housed in the ATC building today.
The first floor of the ATC is home to FSU’s Grand Rapids office. Students of FSU and GRCC have the benefit of intertwined degree programs that make transferring to and from both institutions smoothly.
The concept that brought about the partnership between the two educational institutions was to offer a applied technology programs that West Michigan business would be able to pool from to meet their labor demands. This year, that goal brought a unique addition to the ATC, a brewery. GRCC is the only college or university in the country to have a bar.
The Secchia Institute for Culinary Education now offers education for those looking to gain knowledge for the booming micro brewing industry Grand Rapids has loved so. Like with the Heritage and Art and Bev’s the community gets to share in the spoils of the culinary students educations. Beer lovers can share in the bounty of the students aspiring to be brewmasters at the Fountain Hill Brewery in the ATC building Thursday and Fridays from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
Brewster’s, foodies, aspiring game designers, digital animators and chefs have been served by the partnership between FSU and GRCC for 25 years. What the next 25 will bring only the invisible hand of the market will reveal, hopefully no terminators, but if it terminates as well as Art and Bev’s makes a burger I am sure it will be a painless affair.