(01/13/14) - Plans to replace an aging Saginaw County satellite campus for Delta College are moving forward.
The Bay County-based school says its Buena Vista Township location at the Ricker Center is no longer suitable.
A Delta committee is looking at another location in Buena Vista Township, as well as three sites in the city of Saginaw.
Monday, representatives from all four of those "zones" made their best sales pitches.
The Delta College search committee has a tough choice.
"It really is more than just a building," said Bob Stafford, Board of Trustees chair.
Stafford says the new building for Delta's Saginaw County satellite campus will replace the aging Ricker Center.
"Unfortunately, it's an old elementary school, it was never designed to be a college," he said.
Right now, about 650 students use the Buena Vista Township location., and BV is where township leaders want it to stay.
The Town Center development, where the former Fort Saginaw Mall once stood, is up against some tough competition.
"The impact Delta College can make on our county, on our city, on our region, it's really significant," said Dick Garber, of Garber Management.
The township believes the 36-acre site has a lot to offer.
"We're 1,000 feet off of I-75. We are off of a major corridor, we are fully assembled, shovel ready property," said Dwayne Parker, Buena Vista Township supervisor.
Parker says there's money in the bank to help build here.
From business leaders to a former mayor, it was a who's who of Saginaw, lining up to show support for three potential zones for a new campus in the city limits. Saginaw's interim city manager did his best sales pitch for the potential zones, which includes downtown, the Michigan Avenue corridor and Old Town Saginaw.
"The number one selling point is the opportunity for collaboration with local businesses, educational institutions and the city," said Tim Morales.
Right now, the city has some momentum after CMU decided to bring its College of Medicine to town.
"We've seen that with Central Michigan, and additional number of students coming to any of the zones would, I think, create just as much excitement, if not more," Morales said.
CMU and Delta together would be a one-two punch for the city, while in BV, "If Delta decides to move into this area, it would be the catalyst for great things to come," Parker said.
The search committee has a lot to think about before deciding when, and where, to move forward.
"We're ready to, to have students using the campus today. However, you know, we really have to do this, make sure that it's done right. I'm more concerned about doing it right than to do it quick," Stafford said.
The Board of Trustees has a meeting next week, but a decision isn't expected until next month.
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