Ferris Board of Trustees Holds Special Meeting

BIG RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved a revision of the Rock Café Renovation project and budget, among other items during a special meeting of the board Friday afternoon (Dec. 19).

The proposed renovation of the Rock Café includes converting the space from a traditional cafeteria-style dining hall to a marketplace concept that will include display cooking with an emphasis on made-to-order meals, said Director of Dining Services Lori Helmer. Seating within the venue will increase from 400 to roughly 643, which will include some enclosed areas for small group meetings. Additionally, classroom space within the existing structure will be converted to a full-service retail convenience store.

“This will create an ambiance that is comfortable and contemporary, yet warm and inviting,” Helmer said.

A preliminary budget approved for the project was $6.5 million. The original budget was based on meeting the functional and programmatic needs identified in the Dining Services master plan, Helmer said. As the design of the project has progressed, additional building deficiencies have been identified, such as roof replacement and building envelope improvements. The revised budget was approved at $7.3 million.

In other business board members also approved:

• Extending Community Counseling Services’ contract for ongoing fund-raising consultation through March 31, 2009;

• Continuing to utilize the services of Dr. Dale Feinauer as facilitator and counselor to improve the working relationship between the Ferris Faculty Association, university administration and board of trustees, and to improve future interactions and negotiations;

• Continuing further renovation to Kendall College of Art and Design’s first and seventh floors;

• Amending and restating retirement plans for Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art and Design;

• Closing the Allied Health Education Program because of low enrollment and due to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act;

• Moving forward with architectural, pre-construction and construction management services contracts for a possible East Campus Housing Project.

19 December, 2008