Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ferris In The News

Public-Private Partnership Allows Redevelopment of Historic Downtown Grand Rapids Building

If not for a creative public-private partnership, a historic building in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids might have continued to sit empty, West Michigan Business Review reports. Ferris State University and The Christman Co. have been working to find a way to turn the city of Grand Rapids’ Old Federal Building into an additional building for Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design. The solution was a three-way partnership between the school, Christman and the city. Joe Hooker, Grand Rapids-based development services manager at Lansing-based Christman, is excited to turn the historic structure into an economic gain for everyone. “A renovation of the Federal Building, which will feature many aspects of sustainable design, will provide great benefits for both Kendall College and the city of Grand Rapids,” Ferris President David Eisler said. Kendall President Oliver Evans added, “Our expansion into the Federal Building will be a visible reminder that Kendall and Grand Rapids are both thriving. Increasingly, students have been attracted by our mix of offerings – from fine arts study to arts education and design for industry, especially the furniture industry. Not only will the new facility increase our capability to deliver education but it will raise our profile and help make more people aware of the kinds of programs Kendall has to offer.” Read more at

Ferris Looking for Ways to Expand on High School-College Theme

The Ferris State University Athletics department has made a commitment to partnering with area high schools to strengthen the bond between the community and university, reports the Big Rapids Pioneer. It all started with an idea for a Big Rapids High School/Ferris football doubleheader on Aug. 29, 2009. That idea developed into “Basketball Bonanza” in which girls and boys basketball teams from Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills and Ferris were featured. Ferris Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles loves the idea of extending the use of its facilities to high schools, and has highlighted ideas to expand the premise to teams in Grand Rapids and Traverse City to create a possible tournament-style atmosphere, he said. “It would be great to get a Grand Rapids vs. Traverse City school to meet here, but most of all we want to foster the relationship with the area schools. That’s first and foremost before we start branching out,” he added.

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