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ACC seeks state help for Donnelly Center renovation

ALPENA — Alpena Community College plans to renovate the Charles R. Donnelly Natural Resources and STEM Innovation Center, according to a five-year master plan the ACC Board of Trustees voted Thursday to submit to the state.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

The cost for the proposed Donnelly Center renovation wasn’t immediately available on Thursday night.

ACC, like all colleges and universities in the state, is required to submit a five-year master plan for capital outlay projects yearly so it can be eligible for a 50% match from the state for those projects.

“We can submit a request for capital outlay, which is what we did with Van Lare Hall about three or four years ago, and, occasionally, the state will say that that’s a project they fund half of,” ACC President Don MacMaster said.

Van Lare Hall is being renovated so the college’s nursing program can move there from the Donelly Center. The program will have more space and updated technology at Van Lare Hall, along with a $1 million learning laboratory and control room that will help students prepare for real-world experiences.

The Van Lare project is estimated to cost $8.7 million and is expected to take 14 months to complete. Groundbreaking for the project was on Monday.

MacMaster said the state usually doesn’t offer the 50% match, but it did with the Van Lare Hall project.

The Donnelly Center would be repurposed to include a new student collaboration space and updated with new technology.

MacMaster said the college isn’t anticipating that the project will receive any funding from the state.

“We’re not really anxious to have another big project until the one we’re currently doing here gets done,” he said.

MacMaster said there are a number of schools that are seeking capital outlay funds.

The master plan has to be submitted by Oct. 31.

The board also approved a local strategic value resolution so the college can receive state appropriations based on its performance.

“This is something we do every year, and it goes to the state,” MacMaster said. “This was an effort at the legislative level to implement some performance measures”

The college must meet four out of five benchmarks in three categories to receive funding. The categories are economic development, educational partnerships, and community services.

The board voted to assert that the college meets the state standards.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.

In other business

The Alpena Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday also:

∫ approved bus transportation for the men’s and women’s basketball teams for $28,698.55 for the upcoming season.

∫ approved the purchase of a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado from Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet for a price not to exceed $29,790.60 that will be used as a snow plow at the college.