GRAND RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees granted approval to proceed with funding to develop a new University Center during its regular meeting on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Federal Building in Grand Rapids.
Board members voted to allocate funding in the range of $30 million to $35 million toward the final design, to solicit bids and to negotiate and enter into contracts required to renovate the facility that will replace the Rankin Student Center on the Big Rapids campus. The full project also includes demolition of nearby Carlisle and Masselink halls to provide additional parking for the new center. Funds also will be used for required site work, including reimbursable costs, university indirect costs, equipment, fixtures and furnishings.
The University Center is a component of Ferris’ campus master plan. During the last three to four years, the university has worked to build a financial reserve to help fund this project. The balance of funding for the facility will be provided through a bond issue with the debt service to be paid by the university’s general fund. Ferris is committed to the completion of the project without a new fee or tuition increase for students. There will be opportunities for private and community financial support to enrich the student experience.
The UC will provide additional space for student organizations to meet and will offer a mix of food, retail and entertainment options to meet the needs of residential and commuter students, and the rest of the university community.
The university completed a visioning stage for the planning process when it received a final report from consultants Brailsford and Dunlavey. At the March 23 board meeting, authorization was granted for the procurement of professional services for preconstruction planning. Neumann Smith teamed with design partner KSS architects and food services consultants Porter Khouw as the design team for the project. Christman Company was selected to provide construction management services. These professional services firms have collaborated with the University Center planning committee to develop a comprehensive program statement and project budget.
The demolition of Carlisle and Masselink halls is expected to begin in either the spring or summer of 2013, while the renovation project for the UC is expected to begin in May 2013 and be completed by Aug. 1, 2014.
As part of the project, the university intends to lease real estate just south of campus in the Big Value Center near the Save-A-Lot grocery store on Northland Drive to serve as a temporary home for the campus bookstore for 17 to 18 months during the renovation. Some other Rankin Center offices will be relocated temporarily to Helen Ferris Hall, and the Center Ice dining facility will be reopened for one year to fill the void left by the closing of Westview during the renovation.
In other action, trustees approved:
The next full meeting of the Ferris State University Board of Trustees is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, 2013 in Big Rapids.
Last updated: 11-06-2012