Sen. Huizenga touts local higher education, veterans funding

Sen. Huizenga touts local higher education, veterans funding

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mark Huizenga on Thursday voted for a supplemental budget that includes over $55 million in funding for Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

“Having a highly educated and skilled workforce is vital to attracting new jobs and investment to our state — and to the future of West Michigan,” said Huizenga, R-Walker. “These projects are examples of the long-term investments we should be making, and they will help GVSU and GRCC improve and expand their facilities to meet the educational needs of their students for years to come.”

House Bill 4292 is a supplemental budget bill for fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

It includes $30 million toward GVSU’s $140 million Blue Dot Lab project, which would renovate a 160,000-square-foot facility constructed in 1988 and build a new 15,000-square-foot addition. The project would address fire suppression and alarm systems, replace mechanical and controls systems, improve the roof and building envelope, and replace electrical and lighting systems that would create technology-centered learning spaces for multiple disciplines.

GRCC would receive $16.8 million toward a $33.6 million project to renovate 61,268 square feet of the Learning Resource Center, originally constructed in 1972, and add an additional 16,100 square feet. The renovation would replace electrical, plumbing, mechanical and HVAC systems; replace and waterproof the building envelope; address ADA accessibility; reconfigure and upgrade interior spaces; and improve energy efficiency. The increased capacity of the structure would allow additional student services to be relocated to the building.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans would receive $8.5 million to help with continuing costs and revenue impacts related to the transition of members to the new facility, such as lower than anticipated restricted and federal revenue and higher than anticipated costs for nursing services.

“We owe a great debt to our veterans, and this funding will help ensure those members at the Grand Rapids home receive the high-quality care they have earned serving our country,” Huizenga said.


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