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Board Approves Construction Projects; 2016-17 Room and Board Rates

Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved several construction-related projects at its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building in Grand Rapids.

Trustees approved the expansion of West Campus Apartments, an on-campus townhouse complex that was originally constructed in 1995. As part of its ongoing effort to address current and future housing for students, university officials identified a need to add new beds to its housing stock. The university plans to add approximately 60 new beds through the completion of two new buildings in the Finch Court neighborhood.

The plan is to have the additional housing open for occupancy by August 2016.

Trustees also approved pre-construction and professional services for a project that will switch the locations of the intercollegiate soccer field and the west campus intramural fields. The new location for the intercollegiate soccer field will give the varsity women’s soccer team a facility that meets the physical requirements to host post-season competition. Relocation of the intramural fields to an area near the Student Recreation Center will provide students a location that has greater accessibility, does not require students to cross busy streets and that minimizes safety concerns. The project could begin as early as the summer of 2016 and will likely occur in phases through 2018 to minimize disruption to the soccer and intramural programs.

Professional design, construction and other services for the Student Recreation Center mechanical systems upgrade project were approved by trustees. Mechanical systems and associated piping will be relocated to areas that are not sensitive to moisture. Some additional areas of the SRC may be air-conditioned as part of this project.

In other action, the board approved a recommended 2015-16 operating budget of $247 million, which includes a projected $51.2 million from the state. This budget takes into account recent state appropriations decisions that include one-time funding to offset this year’s Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System payment increases.

Additionally, the trustees approved an updated and final housing and dining services budget of $33.6 million for a final $213.5 million general fund budget.

The board approved room and board rates for the 2016-17 academic year. The rates reflect increased food costs, and increased labor and minimum wage costs. Individual room and board rates vary based on the type of room and meal plan selected. The rates reflect a 2.3-percent general increase over 2015-16.

Trustees approved the submission of one capital outlay request, in addition to a five-year capital planning document, to the state of Michigan. The university prioritized the Swan Building Annex renovation project. Renovation for the $30 million project is expected to begin in November.

Jack Roberts, of Traverse City, Mich., was approved by trustees as a member of The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. Roberts is President and CEO of Peak Positions, a search engine optimization company based in Traverse City. Peak Positions is rated one of the Top 20 SEO Companies worldwide.

The trustees are chair Paul E. Boyer, of Ada; vice chair Erin R. Brown, of East Lansing; secretary Lori Gwizdala, of Bay City; immediate past chair Gary L. Granger, of Byron Center; Alisha M. Baker, of Mount Clemens; Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Rockford; Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; and Arthur L. Tebo, of Walloon Lake.

The next regular meeting of the trustees is Friday, Dec. 18 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 3 p.m. followed by the full board meeting at 4 p.m.

PHOTO CAPTION: Visitors who use Ferris State University's Student Recreation Center will see some upgrades after the board approved a project that will upgrade the mechanical systems. Areas of the SRC will be air-conditioned as part of the project.