The Board of Trustees Approves Campus Projects

pictureThe Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved several campus projects, including the relocation of Telecommunications, replacing part of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Rock Café and the demolition of Pennock Hall, the former home of the Michigan College of Optometry, during its meeting today (March 25).

The relocation of Telecommunications is part of the university’s planned renovation of the Rankin Student Center to become the new campus University Center. The project calls for Ferris’ Telecommunications and the university network infrastructure to be moved from the basement of Masselink Hall to Rankin. The renovation of a portion of Rankin and relocation of some offices to other locations will be necessary. The demolition of Masselink and Carlisle halls will create parking for the new UC. These projects are expected to span multiple fiscal years as part of the Campus Master Plan.

“The movement of the Telecommunications and university network infrastructure is an important first step in the broader redevelopment of this corner of the campus,” said Jerry Scoby, vice president of Administration and Finance. “The intention is to complete the Telecommunications and university network infrastructure relocation during the 2011-12 academic year with a seamless cutover during the summer of 2012.”

The university network infrastructure supports critical campus services such as emergency phones, fire-and life-safety monitoring, emergency messaging to classrooms, student identification carding for access to residence halls and dining, internet connectivity, voice systems, and other less critical systems such as cable television, and building environmental control and monitoring.

The total project cost for the relocation of Telecommunications, the limited renovation of Rankin Center to accommodate the move and the temporary relocation of the existing offices is estimated at just under $3.4 million.

Also on Friday, trustees also approved improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning for The Rock Café and The Market at a cost not to exceed $170,000. The results of this project will provide appropriate air quality and space temperatures. The HVAC renovation is anticipated to provide conditioned air as recommended in the original proposal for The Rock Café as prepared by the university’s Physical Plant. The funding for this project will be provided through existing auxiliary fund maintenance reserve dollars.

Ferris trustees also approved the demolition of Pennock Hall as envisioned as the final phase of the construction of the new MCO building. Parking expansion, which will add 75 new spaces, was added to this project.

“Given the significant capital renewal and deferred maintenance needs in the facility, we determined that it would be more cost effective to tear the building down rather than invest significant money into a renovation of it for a new programmatic purpose,” Scoby said. “One of the positive opportunities created with the demolition of Pennock Hall is to improve the student parking in that portion of the campus.”

The additional parking is expected to be available for the start of the Fall 2011 semester.

The Diversity at Ferris 2010 annual assessment, as part of the university’s Diversity Plan, was presented to the trustees. The annual assessment monitors and assesses the university’s progress toward achieving the goals of the Diversity Plan’s four strategic goals: create a university that is welcoming to diverse populations; recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student population; hire and retain a diverse workforce; and create environments for student learning that are inclusive of and sensitive to diverse student populations.

In other business, the board approved the following:

  • authorization, upon legal review and approval, to accept the Frey Foundation grant award on behalf of the Board of Trustees, in the amount of $350,000.00, and administer it. Ferris received confirmation from the Frey Foundation of its support of a grant proposal to support the reinvestment campaign to restore and renovate the historic Federal Building for the Kendall College of Art and Design. The amount awarded under this grant is $350,000. The term of funds availability for this grant award is from September 1, 2010 through March 31, 2012;
  • an agreement with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC to manage the university’s bookstores, and to grant the exclusive right to operate and manage the bookstores for a period of five years with a renewal option of one additional five-year term;
  • authorization for the vice president of Administration and Finance or his designee, to negotiate and enter into agreements for Sign Language Interpretation Services in the amount of $100,000 each with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Grand Rapids and Michigan Sign Language Interpreter Network, upon legal review and approval.

The next full meeting of the board is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 13.


25 March, 2011