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Ferris Trustees Approve New HVAC System for Arts, Sciences and Education Building

BIG RAPIDS -- The Ferris State University Board of Trustees today (April 9) approved the installation of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the Arts, Sciences and Education Complex and air conditioning for G. Mennen Williams Auditorium in the Starr Building which will require some summer classes to be relocated to other academic buildings.

The existing HVAC system for the Arts, Sciences and Education Complex has become unreliable making it difficult to maintain a consistent level of comfort for occupants, said Mike Hughes, associate vice president for Physical Plant.

Clark Construction of Lansing is construction manager and Progressive AE of Grand Rapids, architectural engineer for the project.

"We have been working very closely with College of Arts, Sciences and Education representatives to minimize disruption to faculty, staff and students. We hope to have some of the work completed over the summer with testing and quality control measures to follow," Hughes said.

The Starr Building will be closed for classes all summer, and the Science Building will be closed after June 30. The Arts, Sciences and Education Complex will be ready for fall semester kick-off on Aug. 23. All summer course offerings in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education had already been relocated across the campus prior to student registration for summer semester. The Arts, Sciences and Education Commons will remain open during the project.

Matthew Klein, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, said, "The college worked closely with the contractors and the Physical Plant to expedite the remodeling project so that only summer courses would need to be relocated in order to decrease any confusion for students. We are pleased that the Board of Trustees approved this project to provide a better learning environment for our students and working environment for our faculty and staff. The new system will also allow us to cool our spaces more efficiently and to utilize Williams Auditorium year-round."

In other business, the trustees approved:

  • An agreement between Ferris and Christman Capital Investment Group allowing Christman to proceed with pre-development activities for the anticipated renovation of the Grand Rapids Federal Building for use by Kendall College of Art and Design;
  • Naming the three East Campus Suites buildings currently being constructed: Pine Valley (Building 1 along Ives Avenue); Oak View (Building 2 at the corner of Ives Avenue and Damascus Road); and Maple Grove (Building 3 closest to St. Paul Catholic Campus Parish on Damascus Road). A seven-member committee comprised of students, faculty and staff, reviewed submissions entered in a contest by current students and alumni. The two students submitting the winning entries have first choice of which East Campus Suites they wish to occupy next fall and get their first month's rent free;
  • Extending the Barnes and Noble bookstore contract, which ends April 15 after a second five-year term, for another 15 months through July 15, 2011 for operations on the main campus in Big Rapids and Kendall College of Art and Design. This will allow more time to assess planning goals for the potential remodeling of the Rankin Student Center and to create a contract end date that is more conducive to a potential change in firms should that occur;
  • Pursuing a security services contract for Kendall adding emergency management and first-aid training to the qualifications security officers must have;
  • Completing summer renovations at Kendall's facilities at Division and Ionia streets to include painting, installing new carpet, refurbishing stairs, adding library shelving and replacing a cooling tower and air handler and controls;
  • Entering into a revised contract expanding the duties of the Michigan State University clinical pharmacist at Sparrow Family Practice Clinic in Lansing, a training site for Ferris Doctor of Pharmacy students in collaboration with MSU's Family Practice Medical Residents. FSU and MSU pharmacy faculty have shared clinical responsibilities in the past, but now the MSU pharmacist will assume all clinic duties after the recent resignation of the FSU faculty member; and
  • Pursuing bids for a University-wide, state-of-the-art Web Content Management System that will replace a decade-old system that cannot meet internal and external demands and expectations and will allow for a more integrated approach to managing the Web site and marketing the University.