Asumag 5975 Grandvalleyferris 0

Building purchase enables Grand Valley State University to expand engineering programs in Grand Rapids

June 24, 2017
The Ferris Coffee and Nut facility in downtown Grand Rapids is "move-in ready," the university says.

Grand Valley State University is spending $6.5 million to acquire the Ferris Coffee and Nut facility in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., and expand its engineering programs there.

Acquiring the Ferris facility will enable the university to move forward with plans to establish what will be the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing's Design and Innovation Center.

Grand Valley is planning on moving into the 63,385-square-foot facility in summer 2018. With an existing facility, Grand Valley State can avoid the delays and expense of constructing a new facility.

"Enrollment growth in engineering has been explosive, more than doubling in the last 10 years," says Paul Plotkowski, dean of the college. "This facility is move-in ready and perfectly located near our downtown campus, on a bus line and near where our students live. We're excited to plan and develop spaces where students from multiple disciplines will work together and develop projects for our industry partners. This is a game changer for us in terms of opening up potential to be innovative while providing an exceptional talent pipeline to employers."

Ferris Coffee and Nut is buying a factory from American Seating Co., on the west side of Grand Rapids and will consolidate and expand its operations there, reports.

The retail coffee shop that operates at the downtown Ferris is expected to remain open to the public after Grand Valley State takes over the site, the university says.

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