Mid Michigan College sets ribbon cutting on new Harrison campus

HARRISON—Mid Michigan Community College will cut the ribbon on its newly renovated Harrison Campus at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

The college’s renovated building represents a $13 million investment in the Harrison campus to make it a more inviting place for members of the community and provide a more student-friendly atmosphere. In addition to providing classroom, library, and student activity space for current students, the project provides adequate space to accommodate a 25 percent growth in future enrollments.

Newly renovated spaces include a campus store and café, student food pantry, veteran’s resource center, fitness center, and wellness area. Also, updated electrical and mechanical systems will make the campus more energy efficient.

“We have been saving for this project for a long time,” said Christine Hammond, the college’s president. “The college’s reserve funds, a municipal bond, and a special allocation from the state have made the dream a reality.”

Officials of the college said that of Michigan’s 29 community colleges, Mid Michigan is the most dependent on tuition and fees for revenue, collects the lowest amount of property tax per fiscal year by number of students, levies the second lowest millage, and operates with the fourth lowest expenditures per fiscal year by number of students.

For many years, the college has relied on out-district revenue sources to maintain the Harrison campus, and these renovations and infrastructure improvements move the campus closer to sustainability.

“Some community colleges have chosen to close their rural campus sites and consolidate operations,” Hammond said. “At Mid, we celebrate rural communities and recognize that education is essential to their survival and the important role Mid plays in providing access to educational opportunities.”

In an effort to stabilize the college’s funding model, sustain campus locations, and expand services, Mid Michigan College’s board, at its December meeting, authorized a proposal for an additional 0.6268 mills to appear on the March 10 presidential primary ballot.

If passed, the college’s total millage rate would increase to 1.85 mills for 10 years. Revenue from this increase will be used for college operating purposes, including advanced technology for students, and academic programs, including the health sciences and skilled trades.

A recent analysis by Economic Modeling Services Inc., revealed that in 2018-19, the college added $69.2 million to the area’s economy. Mid Michigan students who stay and live in the area spend $4.8 million a year, while alumni add another $43.4 million to local economies.
Mid Michigan graduates have higher paying jobs, pay more taxes, and rely less on public social services than the community at large.

“Everyone is always welcome at Mid, but I especially hope that many will join Representative Jason Wentworth, community leaders, members of our board, and the Mid team for the ribbon cutting celebration,” shared Hammond.

Attendees can tour the newly renovated Harrison Campus, newly constructed Poet Family Outdoor Education Center, and existing Center for Medical Imaging Studies and Technical Education Centers.

Mid Michigan College, with campuses in Harrison and Mt. Pleasant, has been serving its community since 1965. More at midmich.edu.

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