Muskegon Community College (MCC) will begin holding classes at a refurbished former funeral home in the fall in efforts of making a permanent investment in the Grand Haven, Michigan community.
Currently, MCC’s Grand Haven campus holds classes at the Grand Haven Community Center. After purchasing the Clock Life Story Funeral Home, the campus will move to the Grand Haven Township.
According to The Grand Haven Tribune, the community college purchased the funeral home for just under $378,000.
The college had been paying approximately $8,000 a month to lease the bottom level of the facility for classroom and office space, Muskegon president Dr. Dale K. Nesbary said. The Grand Haven campus has been serving around 1,000 students each year since its inception in 2012.
Nesbary believes it will cost around $300,000 to renovate the Clock Life Story Funeral Home before opening the campus up for the fall semester in August.
“It will look nothing like the funeral home that you currently know, believe me,” Nesbary told The Grand Haven Tribune. “We’ll do major renovations from the inside out — walls, ceilings, HVAC. There’s space for four classrooms. We’ll run three classrooms there and have a number of areas for offices and space for students to recreate. The former use will not be obvious with what we’re attempting to do.”
Muskegon officials looked for over six months to find a suitable facility that could house the classroom and office space that the college could use and invest in, Nesbary said.
“We had been looking for the right type of space” and it ended up being at the location of the former funeral home, which is right off of U.S. 31 and near Grand Haven proper.
In addition, Nesbary expects that the new campus location’s proximity to Grand Haven High School could lead to an increase in early student enrollment into the college.
MCC will continue to use the same footprint when it begins the fall 2019 semester, however Nesbary said as a result of the acre-plus of land, there’s room to expand the campus if needed.