Glen Oaks to celebrate grand reopening of tech labs, launch of state capitol outlay project next week

Glen Oaks Community College plans to celebrate two campus projects in an event called “Transformation X2,” on Thursday, November 11 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Guests will take part in the kickoff of the E & F Wings Capitol Outlay Renovation Project, which includes the E. J. Shaheen Learning Commons, Art Studio, and Allied Health and IT Labs. In addition, the complete exterior will be reskinned with a metal insulated panel system. 

Following the Capitol Outlay Kickoff, guests will join in celebration of the grand reopening of the Auto Lab and the completion of the new Welding Technology Labs –- projects which have been in reconstruction since last spring.

“Both projects were included as part of the original $7.3 million state capitol outlay plan   submitted in 2018,” Glen Oaks President Dr. David H. Devier said. “This project encompassed the entire north side of campus.”

“But we saw things change in 2020 as a result of the pandemic,” Devier said. “Not only was the project put on hold by the state, but with the rising cost of building materials, it was expected to go over budget by $2.5 million. This forced us to reduce the scope of work.”

A decision was soon made to remove the Tech building work from the state project; however, it would move ahead with college funding instead.

And the work began in May. The interior was completely renovated into a new Welding Lab, while renovating the Auto Lab. The exterior of the building that houses both labs was completely re-sided with new insulated metal panels by James Ware Construction of Sturgis. The interior was completely renovated and a new Welding Lab was constructed while renovating the new Auto Lab.

“And with the help of generous donors, we were able to purchase and install 20 new welding booths, complete with vacuum systems through $75,000 in donations,” Devier said. “Our Platinum sponsor donors stepped up to the tune of $20,000 and above. They are TH Plastics, Inc., Morgan Olson, and Mike Elliott, a retired St. Joseph County engineer.  Sturgis Bank was our $10,000 Gold sponsor; and our Silver sponsors were Century Bank and Trust and the Paul H. Casault Senior Center Memorial Fund at Sturgis Area Community Foundation.”

All updated electrical work has been carried out by Hi-tech Electric of Kalamazoo. New work bay tool cabinets were purchased for the Auto lab as well as new student lockers and many new storage cabinets. Finally, exciting new graphic images will be added to both the welding and automotive areas.