Technology center on schedule

Monroe Community college to open site in August

10/8/2012
BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Construction of the project at Monroe Community College is to be completed in six or seven months. Work then will progress to interior finishing and furnishing.
Construction of the project at Monroe Community College is to be completed in six or seven months. Work then will progress to interior finishing and furnishing.

MONROE — Construction of Monroe County Community College's new Career Technology Center is on schedule, and the 60,0000-square-foot facility is expected to be open in August.

Jim Blumberg, director of physical plant, said principal construction will be completed in six or seven months, then installation of furniture and equipment will begin.

The building, on the college’s Raisinville Road main campus, will cost $17 million. The state of Michigan will pay for half, and the college will finance the rest with existing funds and money to be raised in a capital campaign.

Grace Yackee, vice president of instruction, said the new facility is needed to keep the college abreast of its educational mission.

“We have literally, from a technology perspective, outgrown the buildings we are in,” she explained.

The Career Technology Center, when finished, will allow the college to upgrade and expand its programs and meet modern technology needs, she said.

Programs to be housed in the building include nuclear engineering, welding, construction, computer-aided drafting and manufacturing, electronics, mechanical engineering and automation, quality assurance, and automotive engineering and service with an emphasis on hybrid and battery technology.

The Career Technology Center also will be home to new programs in advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, and green technologies. Programs now in the East and West Technology buildings will be transferred there.

Ms. Yackee said the new building will give the college the flexibility to take its programs “to the next level. Technology and work force needs change so rapidly. Our current facility doesn't allow this.”

Mr. Blumberg said the building was designed for energy efficiency, with a white roof to reflect heat, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and an interior lighting system that uses sensors to reduce lighting when appropriate.

“We're using low-flow plumbing fixtures for efficient sinks and toilets. Most of the building’s floors will be concrete, with no wax or chemicals used. There will be very little carpet,” he explained.

He said the new building will use about one third of the energy used by others on campus.