Final plans for MCC expansion expected later this month

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:52 pm on Friday, January 13, 2012

GREENVILLE — Montcalm Community College (MCC) President Bob Ferrentino expects to see classes in the expanded Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC) in Greenville a year from now.

But first, the college, Greenville Public Schools, city of Greenville and state of Michigan need to agree on a site plan to develop the college’s property on Hillcrest Street and possibly extend Yellow Jacket Drive to intersect with Hillcrest.

A final site plan proposal could go before the Greenville Planning Commission for consideration later this month.

During the Greenville Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, MCC gave a presentation on where it was in the process of the M-TEC expansion and to get preliminary plans approved. The college will bring a revised site plan to the commission in two weeks, which will include the Yellow Jacket Drive extension.

Yellow Jacket Drive

MCC has been working with Greenville Public Schools (GPS) and Greenville City Manager George Bosanic about the future of Yellow Jacket Drive, which will run between the new MCC building and Greenville High School.

Ferrentino said the original plans of the expansion included Yellow Jacket Drive being extended around the future MCC parking lot and connecting to a private drive. However, concerns over the cost pulled that part of the project out of the plans.

Bosanic asked the planning commission to think about the future once everything is built between the new athletic field at Greenville High School and the MCC expansion.

“M-57 is going to keep getting busier,” Bosanic said.

He noted M-57 has been experiencing backups at traffic lights, especially at Greenville West Drive. Bosanic noted M-57 is as wide as it can be and will get busier as more businesses locate on the city’s west side.

Bosanic believes extending Yellow Jacket Drive around the parking lot and connecting it to the private drive like MCC’s original plans called for would reduce some traffic flow on M-57.

Bosanic and Ferrentino agreed to work together with Greenville Public Schools and the state during the next two weeks to decide what options are available to pay for the road extension before bringing plans back to the planning commission.

“We have an opportunity to get it done and do it the right way the first time,” Bosanic said.

New building

The M-TEC expansion will consist mainly of a new 17,000-square-foot building, about the same size as its current building in Greenville.

The college hopes the building will receive LEED certification at the silver level.
“First and foremost it is a very green building,” Ferrentino said.

Ferrentino said some of the new building will house new programs, including courses to teach students about renewable and alternative energy. The building will have solar panels and a small wind turbine so students can learn how they work.

MCC also is working with universities around the state to offer bachelor’s degree programs in Greenville.

“We are working hard to determine how to serve the community around us,” Ferrentino said. “We are excited in terms of where it will take us in the future.”

Once the expansion is complete, he said MCC will keep looking to see what they can do better.
“With a little hint, there will be more to come,” he said.

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