State Appropriations Support New Science Facilities
Muskegon Community College officials received some good news this week: the Michigan Legislature overwhelmingly approved a supplemental appropriations bill on Thursday that moves MCC one step closer to construction of a $9 million science center. House Bill 4112 includes a placeholder that authorizes the MCC to develop planning documents for a 25,000-square-foot science laboratory and the renovation of 20,000 square feet of existing science facilities.
Since the completion of the College’s Facility Master Plan in 2010, improving science facilities has been the top priority identified by the MCC Board of Trustees. The master plan calls for a two-level science/technology building addition with six new laboratories and six new classrooms, serving a combined 18 academic programs.
The new science area will address the national call to increase the number of students in STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
“We need to compete on a national and global level,” explained Dr. Dale Nesbary, college president. “In addition to meeting crucial student needs, this expansion will also benefit employers and the community at large. It will help attract and retain talent and provide employers with a stronger workforce.”
The expanded facility will also allow expand enrollment capacity, provide barrier-free access, improve technology integration, and protect investment in instructional equipment through secure storage.
The total cost for the project is $9,293,670; MCC will be responsible for 50 percent of that cost. State funding for the project is expected in a future appropriations bill. HB 4112 now on the Governor’s desk and awaits his signature. With MCC Board approval, the College expects to meet with architects again to continue the planning phase.
Muskegon Community College, established in 1926, offers over 80 areas of study and serves over 5,000 students each semester. More information about MCC and its campus improvement plan are available at muskegoncc.edu/masterplan.