Today, Grand Rapids Community College officials and local donors announced plans to expand the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. The expansion comes as part of the “A Broader Vision” capital campaign to raise $15 million to increase scholarships and improve campus facilities.
The press conference was held to reveal an effort to raise the final $3 million of the $15 million plan.
“Grand Rapids Community College is the pathway to success for many in West Michigan, but there are so many more people who need help to remove the barriers that are keeping them from getting the education they need,” GRCC President Bill Pink stated in a press release. “We also need our facilities to be a 21st -century learning environment so students can gain up-to-date skills needed for rewarding careers in a rapidly changing, global economy.”
The plan includes a 20,000 foot expansion of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. GRCC Communications Director Dave Murray was able to provide some more information about the expansion.
“The ATC has had some upgrades in recent years, but the Manufacturing and IT areas haven’t changed with the changing times,” Murray said. “Adding a new lab and upgrading equipment will augment overall capacity, thereby increasing the number of students earning the credentials necessary to land good-paying jobs.”
Murray said the expansion will cost approximately $12.7 million. He also stated that there is no estimated completion date at this time.
“We are planning on beginning construction in early to mid August,” Murray said. “Because we are still in the bidding process it’s difficult to have a firm completion date.
Campaign co-chair Larry Murphy stressed the importance of scholarship support for every student, traditional or non-traditional.
“The need for scholarship support has never been greater,” Murphy stated in a press release. “One out of every three high school grads in Kent County touches GRCC in some way, but the college also serves non-traditional students, including older students who are coming back to finish their education and change their lives. Such opportunity has a tremendous impact not only upon the student, the results can beneficially affect a family for generations.”
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Thursday, May 16 at 12:35 p.m. to include comments from Communications Director Dave Murray.