Monday, September 20, 2010

From The President's Desk: A Historic Week Reshaping Ferris, Kendall

Ferris President David L. Eisler speaks during the official announcement of a project involving the restoration of the Old Federal Building in Grand Rapids for future use by Kendall College of Art and Design. (Photo/Brian Kelly)

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler (pictured) to the Ferris State University community regarding the positive enrollment numbers for the Fall 2010 semester:
This was a historic week as we officially announced the University’s plans to renovate the Old Federal Building in Grand Rapids and dedicated the East Campus Suites in Big Rapids. During the past decade Kendall College of Art and Design’s student enrollment has grown from 600 students to more than 1,400 students. The federal building renovation will help address the facility needs of Kendall faculty, staff and students by adding nearly 95,000 square feet of classroom, gallery and lecture space. The location is perfect, sitting squarely between the current Kendall building and the 5 Lyon Apartments where many Kendall students live. In March 2012 when the project is complete, Kendall will occupy three contiguous city blocks dedicated to a community of student artists, designers and creative thinkers.

The project is funded through an innovative financing package that utilizes a mix of funding options, including state historic tax credits, enhanced historic tax credits, Brownfield tax incentives, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bonds, and unique public private partnership approach. We are also seeking private philanthropic support for the project. With the state providing more than $13 million in tax credits for this $27 million project, the long-term bonded costs for Kendall ultimately are expected to be less than $7 million. One of the reasons it took many, many months to finalize the agreements for this project is that we made it a priority that funding the renovation would not become a burden for our students or for Kendall.

Many people have played crucial roles in making this project a reality. These include Kendall President Oliver Evans, Kendall Vice President for Administration and Finance Sandy Davison-Wilson, Ferris Vice President for Administration and Finance Jerry Scoby, Vice President for University Advancement and Marketing John Willey, The Christman Company President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Cash, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, State Representative Roy Schmidt and many, many others.
Check back for more items from the desk of the president here on the Ferris State University Blog.

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