Mike Feutz, chairman of the school's HVACR department, recently gave members of the advisory committee a tour of the new facility. The event was part of the group's semiannual business meeting.
Feutz introduced committee members to John Tomczyk, who is in charge of the commercial refrigeration lab, and Eric Quilitzsch, who runs the controls laboratory - a high-tech classroom equipped with computer stations for each student that can be used for programming systems over the Internet.
Industry assistanceFeutz mentioned that equipment donations from manufacturers have been filling up the labs, to the point where many pieces have been placed in storage until a spot can be found for them in classrooms.
The university is also selling naming rights to the new facility. The Granger Construction Co., the building's architect, gave a $1 million gift to the department, so the facility will be named The Granger Center for Construction and HVACR.
"Granger has bent over backward to work with us," said Feutz. "They are constructing a building that will be used by their own trade. They want it right."
Plans include hosting the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute's annual instructor workshop, teaming up with the Michigan chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America to start a student-recruitment program and a media campaign to spread the word about the new facility.
The building's official dedication is scheduled for May 2005.