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Groundbreaking ceremony at Ferris highlights renovation of IRC

BIG RAPIDS - Members of the Ferris State University community, along with Rockford Construction Company, Inc. and Neumann Smith and Associates, gathered Friday afternoon Oct. 13 for a groundbreaking ceremony to highlight the renovation and addition to the University's Interdisciplinary Resource Center.

The renovated facility will feature 54,700 square-feet of educational space, with an additional 6,000 square-feet of space included in a connector between the IRC and College of Business. The $8.5 million project is expected to be complete for the start of the Fall 2007 academic semester.

"The renovation of the Interdisciplinary Resource Center will allow Ferris to remain true to its roots of being a learning-centered institution that is a leader in fostering innovation in the career-oriented, technological and professional education fields," Ferris Board of Trustees Chair Arthur L. Tebo said.

Once completed, the updated facility will feature state-of-the-art teaching spaces, seminar rooms for individual or group study, along with formal and informal gathering spaces to enhance learning both inside and outside the classroom.

"The overarching mission is for the IRC to become an exceptional facility that will foster innovation in teaching and learning, scholarship and engagement, with the ultimate goal of advancing student success and our academic environment," Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Harris said. "This building will serve to define in a corporeal way, our mission of becoming a learning-centered university through the presence of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning on the first floor and through the design elements that foster collaboration, innovation and association."

Added President David L. Eisler, "With state-of-the-art classrooms and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the IRC is a wonderful example of the support we provide for our vision of being a learning-centered university. It also facilitates continued learning outside of class, something we believe is very important.

"For Big Rapids, this project is a visible example of our continued growth and our vision for the future," Eisler said.