An existing housing complex on Ferris State University’s Big Rapids campus will be expanded prior to the Fall 2016 Semester, after a vote on the project by the university’s Board of Trustees.
The board met on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building in Grand Rapids, and approved the completion of two buildings in the Finch Court neighborhood of the West Campus Apartments. Associate Vice President for Physical Plant Michael Hughes said that would add about 60 new beds to the university’s housing stock.
“The plan is to have four-bedroom units, townhouse style, with no basements, “Hughes said. “At least half of them are going to be air-conditioned. They’ll be very similar in style and design with the existing architecture of buildings in the neighborhood.”
The new buildings will be developed on an open space in that neighborhood currently used for sand volleyball pits, with construction design intended to accommodate single students. Hughes said that the new construction in the Finch Court neighborhood will occupy a slightly larger footprint than the neighboring buildings, so as to provide adequate dwelling space for four-bedroom townhouses built above grade.
The university’s master plan proposes major investment in housing upgrades over the next several years, as the last traditional residence halls were built on the Ferris campus in the late 1960s. A cross-divisional team has been working on a Housing Vision project, with a goal to develop facilities that support the university’s student recruitment and retention efforts. The team’s recommendations, once finalized, will be presented to the board of trustees.