July 14, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The 2017-18 state budget, signed by Gov. Rick Snyder today, includes $6,367,250 to update and expand Grand Rapids Community College’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center.
The state funding will cover half the cost of the $12,734,500 project, which will focus on computer and manufacturing programs.
President Bill Pink called the project a win for all of West Michigan.
"We are so thrilled to have our capital outlay request selected by the state for funding," he said. "I firmly believe that GRCC must stay relevant to the needs of West Michigan, and the expansion that will be done through these funds will help ensure that we do just that, specifically in the manufacturing and IT sectors. I thank our local and state legislators for joining us in this vision."
The students who complete these programs are in high demand, so it's important for GRCC to keep its classrooms current with the latest equipment and tools used in these industries, said Amy Koning, dean of the School of Workforce Development.
"The Applied Technology Center is currently a well-hidden gem in downtown GR," she said. "From the outside, you'd never know the vast labs that exist in the building – plastics, culinary, machine tool, electronics, Maker's Lab, CAD labs, HVAC and many more.
"Now we are excited to have the opportunity to upgrade this building to help meet the increasing need for a skilled information technology and manufacturing workforce."
The project will target spaces used by the Computer Information Systems and Manufacturing programs.
GRCC and Ferris State University celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ATC, 151 Fountain St. NE, in fall 2016. The building is the result of a collaboration between the two institutions and the state, which provided $13 million of the $27 million construction costs. In 2008, it was renamed to honor the financial support of Tom and Joyce Wisner, and David and Michelle Bottrall.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.