“This is great news that will enable us to begin planning for all the pieces of work we will be doing,” said Glen Oaks President David Devier. “We received $1.5 million earlier to use toward this project so our match is actually $2 million.
“Many thanks to a number of legislators for their support, and in particular, Aaron Miller, District 59 Representative, as he was a key driver in moving this along,” said Devier.
“I can’t convey properly how happy I am that this is finally getting done,” said Miller. “Glen Oaks has been last at the bowl for years when it comes to state grants through the joint capital outlay process, a set of somewhat irregular appropriations of state dollars meant primarily to assist in projects at public universities and community colleges.
“The college received one appropriation (in 1999) that was in the neighborhood of $2 million in its 53 years of existence, something that is simply unfair and a disservice to the roughly 60,000 residents of St. Joseph County who call Glen Oaks their home community college,” said Miller. “That changed December 28, in the supplemental state budget approved in SB 601 where Glen Oaks received $3,475,000 in the form of a 50/50 match from the state for a total project amount of $6,950,000, half of which will prominently be funded by the college. Between that and a special state grant from this last summer, fairness in funding is finally beginning to smile on Glen Oaks and its faculty and students. Most importantly, the education of untold future thousands will be improved greatly because of this investment from the taxpayers of the state of Michigan. To say that I’m thrilled is an understatement. To say that this is a big deal undervalues how far-reaching this will be for the college. Now—let’s get this project done!”
Each year the state requires Michigan colleges and universities to submit a five-year capital outlay plan which identifies priority projects. The funding is based on a 50/50 state, institution match.