WSCC board OKs purchase of former Glik’s building

SCOTTVILLE — The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees voted 6-0 on Monday to approve the purchase of the real estate at 400 River St. (former Glik’s building) for $470,000.

Prior to coming to the full board for consideration the proposal was favorably reviewed by the board administrative committee at its May 15 meeting.

The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees took action on Monday to purchase the property at 400 River St. (former Glik’s building) for $470,000. The college will use that facility for economic development, holding of classes and events for the college. It is also expected to become the home of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce and Networks Northwest.

WSCC administration and board members have been working on this for several months and at the February meeting they authorized president Scott Ward and the college’s legal counsel to negotiate a price not to exceed $525,000. Ward filled the board in on what transpired after that meeting.

“A purchase agreement was executed on March 20 for the property with a price of $482,000 and the agreement has, pending West Shore Community College Trustee approval, a closing date of no later than May 31,” said Ward. “We worked with the sellers to agree to a revision in the purchase agreement to reduce the price to $470,000 after the appraisal was received.”

Ward said the appraisal of the building placed the value at $470,000 with a sales comparison price of $460,000 and an income based price of $480,000.

Trustees also asked the administration to perform due diligence before making the purchase by having a baseline environmental assessment, a survey, title and appraisal done on the property.

“In addition to those typical due diligence actions other efforts continued on this perspective purchase,” said Ward. The preliminary renderings and cost estimates were confirmed as accurate representations of design and cost.”

Ward pointed out that although the college plans to use the space for holding classes and other college activities and events, it will assist the community in economic development. However,  they also needed partners to make the project feasible.

“Conversations included the two partners necessary to make the project feasible who are the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce and Networks Northwest,” said Ward. “Both partners  have continued to express their commitment to a 10-year lease of space toward this project.”

Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce president Stacie Bytwork said they are looking forward to working with the college on this project that will benefit the community.

“The Chamber of Commerce is extremely excited for this opportunity for our community as it will be a catalyst for development, growth and vibrancy in the downtown area,” said Bytwork.  “We are grateful West Shore Community College is looking to expand it’s footprint and make a greater impact here in Manistee. It also opens the door for the Chamber to elevate its programs and services, creating higher efficiency and collaboration with community partners.”

Ward also praised the work of WSCC Business Opportunity Center director Crystal Young and the many others who turned this idea into a reality.

“Crystal put in a tremendous amount of time on this project as did many others,” said Ward.

What has also made the project possible is a $1 million donation from an anonymous donor who has also been kept up on the project progression in the past several months.

In February Ward said the project made sense for many reasons and commented to the board in a memo, “Together all the elements of this project provide an exciting opportunity for the college to fulfill our mission to make ‘our community a better place in which to learn, live, work and prosper’ and our vision of ‘serving our entire community.'”

He added that he feels even stronger toward that commitment now with this project.

“While we can’t lose sight of academics, we must also concentrate on the social, talent and economic elements of our missions to help our communities and the state to prosper,” said Ward. “For a number of years, the college has had to annually pass a resolution certifying fulfillment of local strategic value in order to obtain our full appropriation. I see this project as helping the college achieve our mission on economic development, educational partnerships and community service.”

Ward said the total cost of the project, purchase and renovation is estimated at $3.2 million and with the $1 million donation from the anonymous donor, the cost for the college is estimated to be $2.2 million.

Another item to come out of Monday’s meeting in the announcement that the board will be having a “soft” opening for the Riemer Regional Public Safety Training Center at 6050 N. U.S. 31 following the board holding its 4 p.m. June 17 board meeting at that location. The “soft” opening will include light refreshments and a tour of the facility and until 7 p.m. that evening.

On a similar note, the board agreed to hold its annual public hearing regarding the property tax level at 3:45 p.m. on June 17 prior to its board meeting.

Board administrative committee chair James Jensen presented to the board the financial statements for the General Fund expenses in the amount of $1,063,132 and Auxiliary Fund expenditures in the amount of $82,195. The measure was approved on a 6-0 vote.

“We asked a lot of questions when the committee met on May 15 and all of them were answered by president Ward and the staff,” said Jensen.

Another item to come before the board was the naming of executive assistant to the president/board Lisa Stankowski as the fall 2018 staff member of the semester and Shelley Boes as the spring 2019 staff member of the semester.

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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