At a special meeting of Ferris State University's Board of Trustees on Saturday, Dec. 17, trustees authorized a $200,000 budget increase for the campus relocation and expansion of the nationally-renowned Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.
The project scope has been expanded to include a pre-museum experience featuring additional displays, donor wall and signage announcing the museum's new location in the lower level of FLITE library.
The revised project cost of $1.3 million will provide much-needed space to house a 9,000-piece collection of artifacts used to teach students and others across the country about race and intolerance.
Trustees also approved an increase in design service costs for ongoing renovations to the Federal Building in Grand Rapids, which will accommodate Ferris' growing Kendall College of Art and Design. The revised budget of $82,000 will allow Via Design Inc. of Grand Rapids to provide a more integrated design plan that includes a distinctive sculpture garden on the building's east side on Division Street.
In other business, trustees accepted two gifts of real estate, including a parcel of land owned by Ken and Sueann Walz of Big Rapids. The property has Muskegon River frontage and is located near Big Rapids' Roben-Hood Airport. After acquiring the title to the property, the university intends to sell it and place the proceeds in an unrestricted gift fund. The other property gift will be from the Big Rapids Township and consists of a very small piece of land located on the southwest corner of Katke Golf Course that was excluded from a land acquisition when the university purchased the surrounding land in 1996. The university intends to retain this 33 feet by 180 feet piece of property.
The next regular full board meeting of the trustees is set for Friday, March 23 in Big Rapids.