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Trustees Approve Funding For Asphalt Testing Facility, Recognize Women's Soccer Success

Board of Trustees Wrap-up Story

During its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 14 in Big Rapids, Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved the request to proceed with final design, construction and furnishings for its future Institute for Construction and Technology (ICET) Hot Mix Asphalt Facility. This project, a goal of the University’s expanded Now & Always comprehensive campaign, is supported by donor funds and industry. It will serve the needs of construction students at the university and the asphalt industry.

The trustees’ approval of the $2.6 million Hot Asphalt Mix Facility allows Ferris to continue to be the leader in providing training and certification for hot mix asphalt, soil density, and aggregate and materials testing for the State of Michigan. The University has recently been awarded two five-year training contracts with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide training and certification for aggregate and hot mix asphalt training for transportation-related construction projects. Ferris is the only university authorized by MDOT to provide these training and certification services. The new facility will be located adjacent to the University’s Corporate and Professional Development building east of the Big Rapids campus. Construction is expected to begin in April 2019, and occupancy is expected by November 2019.

In other Friday action, the trustees approved:

  • four new appointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies;
  • reauthorizations of Benton Harbor Charter School Academy, in Benton Harbor; Blended Learning Academies Credit Recovery High School, in Lansing; Bridge Academy, in Detroit; and Creative Technologies Academy, in Cedar Springs;
  • extension of the Ferris Futures Endowed Scholarship Matching Program;
  • replacement of the artificial turf system at Top Taggart Field; and
  • authorization to retain professional services from two search firms.

During its meeting the Board of Trustees recognized the Ferris State University Women’s Soccer Team and its coaches Andy McCaslin and Stacey McCaslin with a citation of excellence. Their record of 17-4-3 is the best in the 20-year history of the program. With two victories, the team advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Finals in their first postseason appearance.

Friday marked the final meeting for trustees Paul Boyer, of Ada, and Gary Granger, of Byron Center. Dr. Boyer was appointed to an eight-year term in 2011 by Gov. Snyder and has served the past four years as board chair. He serves on the campaign cabinet for the university’s Now & Always Comprehensive Campaign. Mr. Granger was appointed in 2001 by Gov. Engler and then reappointed by Governor Snyder in 2011. Having served on the Board of Trustees for 16 years, he is the immediate past chair of the Board. He also serves as chair of The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors and co-chairs the campaign cabinet for the Now & Always Comprehensive Campaign.

In remarks at the meeting, Ferris president David L. Eisler thanked them with these words, “Both Dr. Boyer and Mr. Granger are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to guiding our work at Ferris State University. They have provided invaluable service to the University, have been great leaders for our Board, and we express our thanks and appreciation to them.”

Friday was also the annual meeting of the Trustees during which new Board leadership is elected. The new officers of the Board are chair Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; vice chair Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Caledonia; secretary Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; and member at large, Lori A. Gwizdala, of Bay City; and continuing trustees include Robert J. Hegbloom, of Clarkston; and LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe.

The next regular meeting of the Board is Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 10 a.m., followed by the 11 a.m. full board meeting.