Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved $1.4 million in funding for a Molecular Diagnostics lab renovation project in a space it leases at Grand Rapids Community College. This project was approved during a special meeting of the trustees on Friday, Feb. 24 in Big Rapids.
The field of laboratory medicine is advancing toward the use of molecular techniques and molecular diagnostics for the detection of genetic disorders, pre-transplantation screening, infection disease and cancer, according to Jerry Scoby, vice president for Administration and Finance at Ferris. Scoby also noted a demand for professionally-educated and technically-competent individuals to work in this growing area of laboratory medicine. He believes that the university will meet this demand through training that students will receive in this Ferris facility located in GRCC’s Applied Technology Center.
“We are entering into an agreement with GRCC that will allow us to complete a necessary renovation for a new Molecular Diagnostics program that we’re very excited about here at Ferris,” Scoby said of the Bachelor of Science in Molecular Diagnostics that was approved by trustees in December 2009. “We see a high demand for talented individuals in the field of Molecular Diagnostics and Ferris is pleased to be able to offer this kind of quality education here in West Michigan.”
The university expects design and preconstruction services to begin immediately in anticipation of beginning renovation of the 2,500-square foot space in May 2012. The Ferris space includes a classroom for 32 students, a 16-station laboratory and several support rooms including a prep room, a specimen room, a dark room and a small locker room. University officials expect the project to be completed in 20 weeks.
Because the facility is owned by GRCC, and Ferris is a tenant, the university sought and received approval from its own trustees for a contract with GRCC to provide this renovated space. Funding for the renovation will come from the College of Professional and Technological Studies’ maintenance and renovation fund.
With the approval of the trustees and the completion of the renovation project, students are expected to begin at the Grand Rapids campus in Fall 2012.