VAN BUREN TWP., MI-Regional growth has brought expansion plans to Wayne County Community College’s traditionally small western campus. Last fall, the campus, saw a 25% increase in enrollment when 400 new students enrolled at the township educational facility.

Ironically, the same campus was shut down in 1994 because of its low enrollment. But it reopened a year later with an expanded curriculum and a greater effort to attract students, including increased advertising efforts, school officials note.

The new enrollment spike has prompted officials to seek bids for a 43,000-sf addition to its western campus in here, based on growth projections. In all, college officials expect to spend from $10 million to $14 million on proposed expansions that include the addition to its existing building.

The upgrades will include six seminar rooms, a computer room, a 100-seat lecture hall and lobby. There also will be a new student service center and a new welcome entrance near the bookstore. Work is expected to be complete between 2007 and 2009, officials say.

The upcoming debut of Visteon Village, the auto parts maker’s new headquarters in the township, is also expected to give the college a greater role in educating businessmen and women and community members. Visteon officials began moving its employees into the 870,000-sf building this week.

Wayne County Community College expansion is part of a growing educational expansion trend in the Detroit suburbs. Last year, Schoolcraft College opened its $27-million VisTaTech Center, which serves as a wing for the college’s Culinary Arts Department. The facility also has a business development area with a theater-style presentation room.

Meanwhile, Eastern Michigan University is adding about 6,000 sf to its Livonia Center near Six Mile Road and Interstate 275, which opened in 1999. More than 1,000 students attend classes there.

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