ACC approves architect for Van Lare renovations

ALPENA — Cornerstone Architects has been selected by the Alpena Community College Board of Trustees to work on the renovations of Van Lare Hall.

On Tuesday the board voted unanimously to approve the Traverse City firm for the project. There were 13 responses to the bid and those choices were narrowed down to four.

“The top four candidates were requested proposals on technical and cost proposal. All scored very well. But references and cost guided the selection of Cornerstone Architects,” Facilities Manager Nick Brege said.

Brege said the company’s bid was competitive for the first two phases as well as reimbursables, like travel and print costs. Discussions to work on the project began in August.

College President Don MacMaster has said in previous reports the cost of the project is estimated to be about $6.7 million.

The college receivef funds from a State of Michigan Capital Outlay Bill. These funds would cover half the cost and the college will be responsible for the match funds of $3.35 million.

Brege said the possible renovations could include renovations of the east wing of the hall, new lab space for the nursing program with simulated hospital rooms, exterior updates, heating and ventilation overhaul and the possible addition of an air conditioning system.

MacMaster said he’s not sure when the college will collect all the required match funds for the project.

“I hope as quickly as possible, but we’ll move in a professional, credible way,” he said.

The ACC nursing program is one of the key focuses of the renovation, MacMaster said.

“That’s a key piece that’s underplayed. That’s the spine of our effort. We hope to bring higher education to the program and upgrades are needed to keep it strong and competitive,” MacMaster said.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.