Delta College has selected a location in the 300 block of East Genesee Avenue (at Franklin, Tuscola, Baum), to construct a new building in downtown Saginaw to serve the educational needs of students from the City and surrounding County. Key reasons the team selected this site, from the nine sites considered, were:
- Ideal site availability with great feasibility for construction
- Economical to acquire and develop
- Close proximity to urban amenities, including Hoyt Public Library and the future SVRC Marketplace
- Convenient access to the STARS public bus terminal, with six routes passing the new site
- Abundant public parking resources nearby
- Convenient transportation linkages, including I-675 interstate access and other major urban circulation routes
- Prominent frontage and visibility on Genesee Avenue
- Ready access to utilities and infrastructure
- Potential to contribute to the downtown character
Delta College’s Saginaw Center will include eleven classrooms, basic science and computer
labs, technology and special use training rooms. It is a priority to improve the educational
environment of Delta’s Saginaw location, to more appropriately match that of our other
higher education facilities.
In 2016, 41.2 percent of Delta College’s enrollment is from Saginaw County and it is the largest population center of Delta’s three county service area of Saginaw, Bay and Midland Counties. Although enrollments are down slightly at Delta College – and indeed across Michigan - improved facilities and program offerings at the Saginaw Center is expected to help increase enrollments.
As proposed, the building will be 24,000 assignable square feet (35,000 gross square feet) with a future maximum enrollment of 1,250 people. It is anticipated to take a number of years to increase to that level.
“By investing in a building, rather than continue to lease space, Delta is planning for the next two or three decades of service delivery,” said Dr. Jean Goodnow, Delta College President.
“We will offer close-to-home educational classes for many students making their first strides into the post-secondary educational realm. This educational magnet will support student aspirations, whose success affects not only themselves, but their entire families. And, Delta’s ability to deliver the highest caliber college education and work force training will be greatly enhanced,” she added.
The estimated cost of the construction is $12.739 million. In June 2016, the state of Michigan approved a $100 planning authorization. Following a subsequent appropriations process in the upcoming year, the State will provide 50 percent of the total cost, or approximately $6.4 million. The remainder has been saved by Delta College to meet the 50 percent match requirement.
Since the site property chosen is City owned, the agreement will need to be approved by the Saginaw City Council at its Monday, November 21 meeting. Then, there are many more steps to complete before the building will open. Delta College has engaged WTA Architects of Saginaw to provide architectural and engineering services for the Saginaw Center.
Additional dates are:
January 2017 – Hire construction manager to work with the project team
March 2018 – Start on the construction phase (weather dependent)
March 2018 to May 2019 – Construction continues on the project
May 2019 – Building occupancy
When combined with other data, Delta has identified plenty of people to serve with a new Saginaw Center. Research of the demographics show a large number of potential students within a close radius of the chosen location:
• 4,700 high school students
• 4,450 people aged 18 to 24 years old
• 8,750 people aged 25 to 44
• 9,450 people 45 to 64 years old
• And others may have a degree, but need some retraining
“Delta College is committed to serving all of its taxpaying communities and is pleased to be addressing a need in the region where a majority of students live,” Board Chair Michael Rowley said. “While located in the Downtown area, it will be within easy access for everyone in Saginaw County and beyond.”
The centrally-located site at the 300 block of Genesee Street can attract students from the City, but would also attract from all 19 Saginaw County school districts. The Saginaw Center will serve as an entry point for health care and skilled trades, housed on main campus. It will also supply higher education to local residents through dual enrollment, as well as certificate and degree programs.
As Delta builds its new facility, the College will also build partnerships with other community assets already in place. A few of those include: the Public Libraries of Saginaw, the Castle Museum, the Temple Theater, the Dow Event Center, FirstMerit Event Park, the CMU Medical School, the Saginaw Art Museum and the upcoming SVRC Farmers Market.
Within this safe environment, many first generation students will find success, which can lead to a continuing cycle of education. This will provide an investment in individuals, ensuring they’ll have career opportunities affecting future generations.