GREENVILLE — Members of the Coalition of Greater Greenville (COGG) held their monthly meeting at the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Technology and Learning Center on Thursday to take a tour of the new advance technology building currently being constructed in Greenville.
MCC President Robert Ferrentino said the expansion of the Greenville campus is being built on four pillars, which will better the future of students. Those four pillars are health care, manufacturing workforce, lifelong learning and improve access to higher education.
“(The expansion) is solid career growth,” Ferrentino said.
Before the tour, Ferrentino described each concept of the pillars and how they would affect students who attend the advanced learning center.
“We will be advancing one’s career, and the facility provides us the ability to do that,” he said.
With the many opportunities the expansion brings to the local community, Ferrentino said one opportunity would be for K-12 students with the possibility of gaining associate degrees when graduating high school.
“It’s real,” said Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines of the opportunities that could arise in the future.
The expansion will cost about $5.4 million. Ferrentino said the state has committed $2.7 million through capital outlay funds. The MCC Foundation has also donated, leaving the final amount to be $1.9 million.
The advance technology center is set to be open in the summer of 2013, according to the MCC website.
Many classrooms, student commons, a garden and more are being built into the new facility. One classroom will be considered an expandable room to split the area into two classrooms or be kept open for a larger group of people to meet.
The overall facility is being built with many windows to get more natural light into the building. The advanced technology center will be energy efficient. The facility will also be home to energy studies and include many solar panels and a small wind turbine.
“It’s very impressive,” said Wendy Gladding, Downtown Development Authority member and owner of Beamers Tanning & More in Greenville.
United Lifestyles Executive Director Jodie Faber inquired about how many local contractors were being used for the expansion project.
“A good amount (of the contractors) are from Montcalm County,” said Ferrentino, noting that although bids were put out, local contractors did not bid on all of them. “They are all good guys to be working with.”
At the end of the tour, COGG members seemed impressed with the expansion process and looked forward to seeing the final product.
“It’s looking good,” said Greenville Assistant City Manager Cameron Van Wyngarden.
Ferrentino reminded members the advance technology center was designed to help the community and the county.
“It’s a vision of where we are heading in the future,” Ferrentino said. “Together we can do a lot of great things.”