Fenton Twp. — From the road, passersby can watch the renovation process of the former equipment storage building at the Mott Community College (MCC) Southern Branch Campus on Thompson Road.

 Inside the tall, somewhat square building, workers break up the flooring and prepare the building for its next purpose — to house the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA).

 The main building of this campus is also being renovated and reconfigured to provide Mott’s standalone occupational and physical therapy assistant programs with up-to-date facilities.

 These projects are part of the $8.2-million plan to update and enhance the learning environment for MCC students at the Fenton Township campus.

 “It’ll definitely increase the quality of the learning environment, and give access to the latest state-of-the-art technology in their chosen profession,” said Chad Stirrett, executive director of facilities at Mott.

 According to the project’s executive summary, these renovations will allow access for increased student demand, dedicated spaces for specialized equipment and bring the entire campus up to

construction code.

 The project is half-funded by MCC and half-funded by the state through joint capital outlay, utilizing bonding capacity.

 The work plans were approved in May, followed by contractor bids and then construction this summer.

 There are two phases of the project, which are happening concurrently. Phase I is the LERTA training facility, which started one month earlier than the main building. Students in the LERTA program are still in class, learning at remote facilities. Part of the project will include an updated outdoor training course. Stirrett said the construction should be done in December, and be open for use in January 2020.

 Not only will Mott students learn here but the facilities will be available for police agencies to use for training.

 Phase II is selective work to the main building, which will update the facilities for occupational therapy assistant students as well as physical therapy assistant students. It also will add new fire suppression and emergency systems. This project should be done in January 2020 and open in February 2020.

 Together, these buildings total 61,600 square feet. They began as facilities for Consumers Energy.

 MCC and all the programs are running on their normal schedules. According to Site Manager Doris Stromer, there are 800 students enrolled for the fall 2019 semester.

 “The college really is viewed as a community resource,” Stirrett said. “It does create an economic impact … everything we reinvest comes back exponentially through the economic impact studies.”

 This project is following the grand opening of the new $13 million 36,000-square-foot culinary institute in downtown Flint.

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