By Hayley Babbitt
Noticeably, Grand Rapids Community College’s Applied Technology Center is under renovation. Although construction is not expected to be complete until the end of the calendar year, administrators say the work is on schedule.
As annoying as construction work may be, however, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Lisa Frieburger, tells The Collegiate why it’s all worth the wait.
“The new addition will house the Computer Information Systems Department and include a simulation data center, and labs for CISCO network training, and A+ PC computer service certification training,” Frieburger stated in an email.
In addition to the brand new technology installations, the lower level is also to have machine tool programs along with several labs for computer-aided design (CAD).
There will also be interior renovation, which “includes updated labs for architectural and mechanical design programs and two new larger general purpose classrooms,” according to Frieburger.
The Collegiate met with the superintendent of the construction site, Mark Buczea, to learn more.
“The hours we work the site can be different depending on the season and time of day, Buczea said. “We have to be mindful of the neighbors that live right next to the site.”
The financial aspect was discussed with Frieburger, who noted that the total cost of the project is $12,734,500, with state funding paying for half.
“Individual community colleges need to apply for processing through the state, providing certain information, and the state then ranks the submissions for funding” Frieburger stated. “Then they agree to fund certain projects.”
Understanding that a renovation of this scale comes with a hefty price tag, how long did the planning take?
“It took us months to get the submission ready, and then the state has a year-long submission opening,” Frieburger stated.
With many stages to go through for processing the project alone, the lengthy construction time is expected to pay off by the fall 2020 semester when the new ATC building expansion opens for classes.