Big changes are coming for Mid Michigan Community College that might help many students reduce their time spent driving to classes.
Matt Miller, MMCC vice president of student and community relations, said construction of the Center for Liberal Arts and Business, at MMCC’s Mount Pleasant location, could be complete by late June.
“Construction is on schedule. We’re very close to having the building enclosed with the windows drywalled so they can start construction on the interior of the building,” Miller said. “Classes will start in the fall 2014 semester in that building.”
MMCC’s Pickard Center is up for sale, and classes from that location will move to the new Center for Liberal Arts and Business building. Located at the Doan Center at the Summerton Road and Broadway Street intersection, the Center for Liberal Arts and Business is still under construction.
Most of those classes are liberal arts, including sociology, psychology, English, humanities and math courses. Miller said MMCC needed a location upgrade for those classes.
“What we recognized is for students to do well, we needed one unified campus (in Mount Pleasant), instead of having two locations,” Miller said. “Students are getting something so much improved, compared to what was at Pickard. The Pickard location worked well for us, but it was really time for us to move out and update the structure we have for students.”
The construction for the project costs MMCC $18 million. Half of the funding came from the state of Michigan, while $5 million came from a capital campaign still in progress.
The rest of the cost will come from MMCC’s savings and the proceeds from the sale of the Pickard building. The building went on sale about two months ago, and has not been bought yet, Miller said.
“We haven’t had it officially on the market for very long because we have to hold on to it until this construction is done,” Miller said. “We’re close enough now, and it’s out there. What we’re finding is people are curious to see this place.”
The new building will eliminate the need for MMCC, or Central Michigan University guest students, to travel back and forth to two different Mount Pleasant locations for classes. That is one of the main reasons why Thomas Bukowski, a 19-year-old Standish MMCC freshman, is looking forward to the new building.
Bukowski, who plans to attend CMU after MMCC, said he will miss the Pickard building.
“It’s a really nice building. My favorite parts are the skylight and the vegetation,” Bukowski said. “But since it’s moving, it will be better because I have classes over there next semester. It’s better for gas instead of having to drive to two places all the time.”
Some other students prefer to stay at the Pickard Center where they are familiar with the environment. Brooke Butler, a 23-year-old Lainsburg transfer student from CMU, said she liked the Pickard location.
“I would prefer not to have to go to the Doan (Center) just because I don’t want to have to drive further than I have to,” Butler said. “I’m more familiar with the Pickard spot, so it’s just easier to go to that one.”