Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., has received approval to move forward with plans for a Center for Welding Excellence and Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
The university says in a news release that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will enable the university to proceed with the $30 million project.
The plans call for Ferris State to renovate the existing 47,086-square-foot Swan Annex and build 34,462 square feet of new space to provide expanded, modernized space for the Welding Engineering Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Technology academic programs. Those programs are at capacity and have a long student wait list.
“Our program is nationally recognized and has a rigor that matches its status, with academics that are deserving of such honors,” says Larry Schult, dean of the college of engineering technology. “When the facility that is being planned is completed, state-of-the-art facilities will be in place, along with the most modern equipment.”
The facility upgrades will double the size of the welding program as a Center for Welding Excellence, and create a Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The work will significantly improve the laboratories used for manufacturing-related programs such as CAD Drafting and Tool Design, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Plastics and Rubber.
Ferris State will receive $22.5 million in state funding will contribute $7.5 million of its own funds toward the expansion.
Construction is expected to begin later this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.