January 25, 2011
Project includes science and Dental Assisting classrooms, energy-efficient features
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees voted at its meeting on Tuesday to move forward with the third and final phase of science classroom renovations on the College’s Napier Avenue Campus.
Phase III completes the College’s commitment to the nearly $2 million Title III federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2007. The five-year grant has provided the College with funds to redesign its entire science program, including curriculum, equipment, facilities and professional development training for faculty.
“Access to the best science instruction is critical for today’s college students,” stated LMC President Dr. Robert Harrison. “This learning environment, in combination with our highly skilled faculty, provides Lake Michigan College students with the resources to explore the latest scientific processes, and gives students an edge in preparing for the jobs of the future.”
The College will renovate 10,400-square-feet of the Napier Avenue Campus academic building C-wing third floor with the creation of three chemistry labs, two biology labs including a greenhouse, a central preparation and supply room, lab preparation spaces, and offices.
Renovation of 2,600-square-feet of space on the first floor of the C-wing will occur in order to relocate the Dental Assisting program from the third floor. Additionally, a former welding lab on the second floor B-wing will be renovated to create two classrooms needed to accommodate enrollment needs on the campus.
The project also includes an energy efficiency component with the addition of an air acuity system which will have a payback period of fewer than 18 months. When science labs are in use, safety codes require a higher fresh air exchange rate. The air acuity system will sense when the room is inactive, and reduce the amount of fresh air that needs to be heated or cooled.
In their vote to move forward with the project, the Board approved the $3.98 million budget. Of that, they awarded the $3.1 million construction contract to Pearson Construction Company of Benton Harbor, Michigan, to perform demolition and general contractor services. The remainder of the budget includes a ten percent construction contingency, design services, permits, furnishings, and new equipment for the Dental Assisting program.
According to LMC Board Chair Judy Truesdell, Pearson Construction provided the lowest bid in a very competitive bidding process.
“It’s wonderful that while this project creates an engaging and progressive learning environment for our students, it will also contribute to the local economy with the selection of Pearson Construction Company. They have provided the College with quality construction services in the past, and we are pleased to be working with them again,” stated Truesdell.
Construction will begin February 1 and is expected to be complete by mid-August. The College will rent space from Western Michigan University – Southwest to hold some science courses during the summer semester while construction is in full process.