About the Campaign

Why does Lake Michigan College need a capital campaign? How does a campaign differ from normal fundraising year to year?

The capital campaign is essential to Lake Michigan College’s plans to better serve students and the communities of southwest Michigan.  The campaign funds priorities that are not covered through traditional funding (state aid, local property taxes and tuition/fees).  This campaign supports the three pillars of LMC strategy:

  • Jobs: Strengthen the region’s manufacturing economy and prepare our workforce for knowledge-based careers of the future.
  • Student Success: Create exceptional learning environments to enhance student success.
  • Strong, Vibrant Region: Advance our communities’ standing as an education, economic, and cultural center.

This campaign gift differs from annual fundraising in that it provides for carefully selected, strategic capital needs designed to serve our students and strengthen our communities in new ways. A gift to the capital campaign ensures that the College will continue to create opportunity for students, faculty, and the community. 

What is the campaign goal?

Lake Michigan College seeks to raise $7.5 million over the course of 18-20 months.  These funds will enable LMC to help build a more vibrant region that will be prepared to respond to global challenges of the future. 

How will the College keep these new/renovated facilities current?
Sustainability of new or renovated facilities is part of our responsible annual budgeting process.

Technology Center

What is LMC’s role in the future of Manufacturing?

Manufacturing has been the economic cornerstone of our region.  It is different today than it was even 5 years ago and it is continuing to evolve at an ever increasing rate.  Innovation is driving the almost daily new look in Manufacturing.  With innovation comes new opportunities, new growth, and a stronger local economy.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, “for each job manufacturing creates, three other jobs are created in the wider economy.”  The new Technology Center on the Napier Campus will reflect the future, emphasizing the ability of manufacturing to change, adapt and lead.  This capacity will attract new populations to a highly skilled regional workforce, providing a steady stream of qualified, work-ready employees critical to the region’s ability to compete in the global economy.

Where will the NEW facility be located?

The Technology Center will be located on the College’s Napier Avenue campus adjacent to the Western Michigan University building.

Why move to the Napier Avenue campus? What about programs in Niles?

The increasing need that local manufacturers have for a workforce with skills in emerging technologies makes this the right time for the College to consolidate services and operations, similar to what other organizations are doing in our community. This consolidation will create more efficient operations, expand program offerings, and offer an enhanced learning environment for students.

Because of population density, the Napier Avenue campus attracts more students than any LMC campus. Having manufacturing on the Napier Avenue campus will improve accessibility to students coming from southern Berrien County, Van Buren County, and Cass County.  While we always seek to serve regionally located students at LMC’s South Haven and Bertrand Campuses, the Napier Avenue campus is the optimal location for the largest concentration of high tech programs, equipment and students.

The College will continue to offer programs at Brandywine High School.  We offer both Early College credit courses and college level classes for traditional aged and adult students.  Students will have additional opportunities available at the Technology Center on the Napier Avenue campus.

Why couldn’t you do this at the former M-TEC building?
M-TEC served LMC’s students well for 14 years; however, retrofitting the existing M-TEC building to accommodate new programs and serve high tech manufacturing needs was cost prohibitive. Further, the land use concept around M-TEC changed, and the building would never be the centerpiece for an industrial park as originally planned.  M-TEC was sold to Whirlpool in December of 2014.  The proceeds of this sale will help fund the new technology center on the Napier Campus.

How much will the new center cost? What are the sources of funds?

The estimated cost is $8.6 million. Funding will come from several sources including:

  • Donor support
  • Proceeds from the sale of the former M-TEC facility on Klock Road
  • Grants
  • College funds

      How big is the Center?

      The Technology Center will be approximately 39,000 square feet. The design is efficient, modular and adaptable as new program needs emerge. Total operating costs are projected to be 25% lower than the former M-TEC facility.

      What is the timeframe for construction?
      The College anticipates that construction will be complete in time for Fall Semester in 2016.

      Where will programs be offered in the interim?
      We will move the College’s energy, manufacturing workforce training and several healthcare education programs to temporary locations at the Napier Avenue Campus.

      What classes will be taught in the Technology Center?The College will continue its commitment to instruction in:
      • Apprenticeship Programs
      • Energy Production Technology
      • Welding
      • Industrial Maintenance
      • CAD/CAM
      • Machine Tool/CNC
      • Electronics

      New and expanded programs include:

      • Robotics
      • Engineering Tech
      • Prototype and Design Technology
      • Creative Welding
      • Innovations and Fabrications
      • Mechatronics
      • Baccalaureate in Energy Production
      Is the new facility designed with sustainable building practices in mind?
      Yes, the building will be built seeking LEED certification. The design of the building, complete with a geothermal loop heating and cooling system and daylight harvesting, will serve as a learning lab for energy production students.

      Wine & Culinary Education Center

      What is the Wine & Culinary Education Center?

      The Wine & Culinary Education Center will be the home of the College’s Wine and Viticulture Science program (the Midwest's first and only commercial teaching winery) as well as its culinary management program. Beginning in the fall of 2015, students will begin learning all aspects of the wine industry including viticulture (grape-growing), enology (winemaking), and the business of wine. This commercially viable winery, along with nearby teaching vineyards managed by the program, serve as classrooms where students will gain all-season, first-hand experience. Students who complete the two-year program will earn an Associate in Science Degree in Wine and Viticulture Technology. Currently the Wine Education Center is housed within LMC’s Mendel Center for Arts and Technology but a new facility is planned for the future. Learn more at lakemichigancollege.edu/wine.

      The College’s Culinary Management program was developed in 2013 to meet the overwhelming needs for trained chefs, kitchen managers, and other related food service workers.  The program is vital to the growth and development of Michigan’s hospitality, tourism, and wine industries.  The Culinary Center will house a state-of-the-art facility, including a teaching kitchen, so students can learn what it takes to not only create exquisite cuisine, but will gain the skills necessary to run an efficient and successful business.

      The Wine & Culinary Education Center will also house a dining room, private dining spaces, outdoor viewing and dining where students from both programs, as well as the College’s hospitality program students, can practice the skills they are learning in the classroom.  

      Why is Lake Michigan College pursuing wine and viticulture?

      Southwest Michigan is a viable market for the growth of Michigan Tourism through the expansion of the wine industry.  Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin do not have community-based college-level educational programs that support the wine industry.  States and regions that have invested in a community college based educational programs, such as Walla Walla, Washington and the Finger Lakes region in New York, have seen significant growth in their wine industry.

      Why is a Culinary Management program important?

      The Culinary Management program is vital to the growth and development Michigan’s hospitality, tourism, and wine industries.  In order for LMC to meet the culinary education needs of our region, students must be able to gain learning experience in a professional environment designed and equipped with the latest commercial kitchen technology.  This Center will give students real hands-on experience in an authentic environment, ensuring a smooth transition from school to career. 

      Where will the Wine & Culinary Education Center be located?

      The Center will be located adjacent to the College’s Napier Avenue Campus.  LMC will renovate a historic barn as an attraction for visitors to learn about wine making, tasting, and food paring which will integrate the wine and culinary programs with the College’s Hospitality Program.  The proximity to LMC’s Mendel Center kitchen will complement the Wine & Culinary Education Center. 

      The Wine & Culinary Education Center will be approximately 5,500 square feet.  The overall historic barn site development includes an adjacent rotating vineyard with vines in stages of production, an herb garden, a dining/tasting room, two private dining rooms, outdoor dining, wine making lab, viewing terrace, underground wine storage, classrooms, teaching kitchen, mixology/bar, crush pad and bottling and labeling rooms.

      What classes will be taught at the Wine & Culinary Education Center?

      The Center’s main purpose is to provide a state-of-the-art educational facility for LMC’s Wine and Viticulture Technology Associate degree and its Culinary Management Associate degree programs.  Each program emphasizes hands-on experience in all aspects of its area of focus.

      What is the timeframe for construction?The College is proceeding with infrastructure and design work for the Center.  Expected completion of the Center is Fall, 2017. 

      Student Success and Community Engagement

      What are the classroom modernization plans for the Napier Campus?

      The College is creating centers of excellence and modernizing 40-year-old classrooms on the Napier Avenue Campus.  We are providing spaces where students can collaborate, improve teamwork skills, and solve problems. The College is preparing students to succeed in the ever-changing and fast-paced work environment.  Spaces will be flexible, allowing students to work in teams.  They will blend the use of technology in ways that challenge the traditional ideas of teaching and learning to improve student success.

      Are there projects for the South Haven Campus?

      The science labs in South Haven will be renovated to align with facilities at the Napier Avenue and Bertrand Crossing Campuses.

      Are there projects for the Bertrand Crossing Campus?

      The Bertrand Crossing Campus will also have repurposed spaces allowing for expanded student assessment services, tutoring and career counseling, and a computer center.

      What are the College plans for the Mendel Center?Meeting and training rooms in the Mendel Center will be updated with new technology, furnishings, and improved acoustics.

      About My Gift

      Are there any naming opportunities?  Can I pay my gift over a period of time?

      Yes, there are a number of naming opportunities available.  For more information, please contact Mary Klemm at (269) 927-6849.  We are accepting pledges which can be paid over three years. 

      Can I use my company’s “Corporate Matching Program” for the campaign?
      Yes.  You are encouraged to check with your employer to see if they have a matching gift program.

      Are gifts to the capital campaign tax deductible?
      Lake Michigan College Foundation meets the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).  Gifts to the Foundation are deductible to the highest limits allowed for federal and state income tax purposes.


      How does the retirement of College President Bob Harrison impact the campaign?
      Although Dr. Harrison will be retiring in December, 2015, he has stated that he will continue to actively participate in the Campaign for Tomorrow and is fully committed to its successful completion.

      The members of the College Board of Trustees are also committed to the campaign and its importance in the future of the College and its students, employers and the region it serves.  They recognize that the next president of Lake Michigan College needs to be a strong voice for these projects and the future growth of the College and the region.  The Board is taking every step necessary to ensure that the right person is selected to lead our College into the future.

      I want to know more—how do I stay up-to-date on all news and information regarding this campaign?

      You can go to the campaign website at lakemichigancollege.edu/tomorrow or contact: 

      Mary Klemm, Executive Director, 
      Lake Michigan College Foundation