By ZEINAB NAJM
DEABRORN — Elimination of Friday classes and renovating or replacing the Liberal Arts Building were among the items discussed Henry Ford College presented its master plan April 23.
The master plan — “A Vision of HFC’s Future — included a facility assessment, utilization plan and time frame for the completion.
The forum included a presentation from Stantec Registered Architect Patrick Calhoun, who spoke about the past, present and future plans.
The plan included preliminary ideas of the direction the college can take in the future to be approved by the Master Facility Planning Committee.
HFC’s plan is to ensure the college provides an outstanding environment in which to deliver high-quality academic programs. The college serves 18,000 students each year by offering more than 100 associate degree, career and university transfer programs.
HFC began the various projects in summer 2013 including the relocation of the early college program, replacing student center tables and chairs, evaluators and financial aid ATM machines.
Current projects under way for 2015 are the remodeling of the welding lab, college store roof and culinary arts building modifications.
“For this project we are trying to get people to think outside the box of what a college campus should look like,” Calhoun said. “We want to create a more connected and efficient campus.”
The plan also looks at omitting classes on Fridays based on classroom usage and student enrollment.
The guiding principles featured creating a more student supportive environment, connecting technology and space, and to be cost effective.
“We want to provide students with more spaces to learn and collaborate with each other,” Calhoun said.
The master plan is separated into three major parts, short-term, mid-term and long-term plans.
Short-term plans included adding labs, create student collaboration space, modernizing learning environments and improving building systems.
The biggest project of the short-term plans is to reimagine the current library with rearrangement and upgrades by 2020. The plan also sets out to incorporate student success programs into the same building and the relocation of the bookstore.
Mid-range plans included bringing faculty together, fine arts building upgrades, expanding the culinary arts program and additions to the fitness center.
Future strategy for the current liberal arts building is the biggest project of the mid-term plan.
Two alternates were discussed including repairing and renovating the current building or demolishing the structure and creating a new building by 2025.
Repairs would cost $9 million, renovations at $22 million and a new building costing $42 million.
Long-term plans were presented to the public but Calhoun said they are not guaranteed to included into the HFC transformation.
Included in the plan is student housing, athletic fields, repurposing of the administrative building and creating a campus quad.
The biggest goal in the long-term plan is creating or adding a visible campus landmark that could be seen from major roads leading to the college.
“That is the ultimate goal,” Calhoun said. “We want the opportunity to showcase the campus in every possible way.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)