CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI-Macomb Community College is getting a new “family room” at its Center Campus in Clinton Township. A new student activities building is the central focus of a $12.5-million building project on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus.

A student population that has increased over the 30 years since the existing student activities center — or “K” building — was built prompted the project, a college official say.

The project also includes the extension of a “loop” road around the campus. The new 35,730-sf student center will house a bookstore, cafe and conference rooms for students/student activities/events. The work is scheduled to be complete by January.

“The existing student center was not a dedicated student center,” Kathleen Maiuri, director of conferences and co-curricular services at the college, tells “It wasn’t very conducive to having more than one event going on at a time.”

Maiuri likened the student center to the college’s family room or living room. “As a commuter college, we have to work hard to engage the students in social and leadership activities beyond the classroom,” she says.

The existing student center, which is attached to the college’s Center for the Performing Arts, will be renovated for use as a community/cultural events center providing space for art exhibits/cultural events for the community, Maiuri adds.

MCC has seen its state revenues cut over the past several years, but the current project was scheduled and funded in November 2001, prior to the state’s current fiscal problems. The college says every similar project in the past has come under budget and this project.

The students activities building and roadway project isn’t the only capital improvement project in recent months on Center Campus. A $2.1-million project last year in C Building on the campus transformed the college’s cooking and baking programs into The Macomb Culinary Institute. The building now features five kitchens with demonstration areas, an improved “Waldorf-style” restaurant and other specialized areas. That project, completed in January 2004, was originally budgeted for $2.3 million and came in $200,000 under budget, the college reports.

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