West Hall highly ranked among governor's capital outlay recommendations

TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget recommendation for the fiscal year beginning in October includes NMC’s West Hall renovation and innovation project as one of only three recommended community college capital outlay projects.

If approved, the recommendation made to the Michigan Legislature this week would bring $7.2 million in state funds toward the $14.4 million total cost to renovate and expand 50-year-old West Hall. The goal is a new space housing robust, technology-rich and flexible learning labs to be used across the curriculum for simulation, team-based and project learning.

The ranking is a significant improvement for NMC. Last year the project ranked fourteenth among capital outlay projects. The next step is for the House and Senate Joint Capital Outlay Appropriations Subcommittee to meet and determine if they will accept the governor’s proposal or make additions or subtractions to the capital outlay list.

Snyder has proposed that a capital outlay bill move concurrent with consideration of the overall fiscal 2017 budget bills, which would put completion of the capital outlay bill in June. However, any legislative effort to add projects could push consideration of a capital outlay bill into the post-election lame duck period this fall.

“We’re pleased to have risen significantly on the governor’s priority list,” said President Timothy J. Nelson, noting the support of regional legislators Representative Larry Inman (R-Traverse City), Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and Senator Darwin Booher (R-Evart). “We now need to continue to make the case for the importance of this project to our learners and our region’s economy.”

The project would almost double the size of West Hall, from 20,000 to 38,000 square feet. It would provide for 13 adaptive learning spaces that can be configured to accommodate traditional learning, hacker space and entrepreneurial activities.

Gov. Snyder’s budget also proposes a 2.9 percent increase in total community college funding statewide, and a 2.3 percent increase for NMC. This breaks down to $9.2 million for operations and $209,500 in performance funding.

Release date: February 11, 2016

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Gabriel Schneider


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