by BETH ALTENA Renovations to buildings, classroom technology at stake One in three college-bound students in Kent County first attend Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), and the average savings per student is $22,000 in two years. Lisa Freiberger, vice president of GRCC, spoke before Rockford City Council on Monday, April 9, explaining the extreme need to approve a bond proposal which will be before Kent County voters Tuesday, May 8. Freiberger said her presentation was very specific to Rockford, where she and her family all reside. She pointed out, however, that GRCC is an open access college and accepts students from all over Kent County but also from other counties. She pointed out that the proposal is not for operating costs but is for badly needed renovations and classroom technology upgrades. “We want to preserve what we have for the next 100 years,” she stated. The millage will fund three main projects for the college. Freiberger said the main building for the school was built in 1922 as the Davis Technical High School. She described it as a very old, very tired building. It will cost $30 million to bring the school up to today’s standards. The music building is also old and in need of renovation. That structure was built as a middle school gymnasium and still has the gymnasium wood floor. It isn’t acoustically sound and was built in 1930. Renovation to that building will cost an estimated $6 million. The college’s preschool program has operated for 20 years out of the basement of a nearby church. Freiberger referred to it as “a phenomenal program in a not ideal space.” She said the college is also in need of renovations or improvements to other of its buildings and said there is a very specific list of projects available to voters who want to look it over. Another important need in the ability to offer high quality education is an update of classroom technology at a cost of $22 million. “We are certainly not looking for brand-new state-of-the-art, but we do need to be up to speed,” she stated. The total bond millage is $98.6 million, which would cost a homeowner of a $150,000 residence $26.25 yearly or just over $2 per month. “We […]
Austin Stephens, a senior left-handed pitcher for the Rams, has signed a national letter of intent to pitch for the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Raiders baseball team next year. Stephens accepted the scholarship offer from GRCC head coach Mike Cupples after a long and difficult evaluation process. Stephens had received scholarship offers from several NAIA schools including Aquinas, Davenport, Huntington, Spring Arbor, Indiana Wesleyan, University of Northwestern Ohio and Division II Northwood University. Being such a “late-bloomer,” Stephens felt that going to GRCC at this point would allow him to continue to get stronger and possibly lead to a Division I scholarship offer in a year or two. “I really appreciate all the interest and generous offers by all the baseball coaches, but I think GRCC is the right fit for me at this point in my life,” said Stephens. Stephens has been an important part of the Ram pitching staff for the last couple of seasons. “It’s been great playing for Coach Hearn and being a Ram. If you can compete in the tough OK Red conference, you can compete at a lot of places,” said Stephens. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be an important part of the Raider pitching staff and improve even more. GRCC has won five national baseball titles. They have a great tradition and I hope to help them continue that tradition.” Stephens will join fellow Ram, Christian Leinesch, who also accepted a scholarship offer to play for GRCC. Austin is the son of Mark and Wendy Stephens.
Rockford High School is pleased to announce that varsity baseball’s senior captain Mike Parsell has officially signed a letter of intent with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). Parsell was recruited to play third base for the Raiders. GRCC is regarded as one of the top Division II baseball junior colleges in the country. The Raiders have won an amazing five national titles, including three in a row from 2003 to 2005. This year, Parsell leads the Rams offensively. As of April 26, 2009, he is leading the team in hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage and total bases. Parsell carries a 3.77 cumulative grade-point average, and is the son of Tim and Karen Parsell.