Lisa Freiberger

Community college bond up for vote Tuesday, May 8

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

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 […]