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April 23, 2014

Walsh College spruces up — again

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

Walsh College will renovate its Troy campus, on Livernois, which will add about 1,200 square feet to the facility. The Troy Planning Commission unanimously approved the preliminary site plans for the $15 million project March 25.

“Walsh College is an important institution in the city of Troy,” said Troy City Planner Brent Savidant. “The addition will bolster their image and strengthen their presence in Troy.”

Stone, metal panel and brick will be used to create a façade designed to create continuity with the addition to the 37,000-square-foot Barry Center, completed in 2007. The project will create a business communication learning center that will allow students to practice and record presentations in digital and electronic formats, and offer video conferencing capabilities, a student lounge and a student services center.

“The project consists of renovating the original campus building that was built in the 1970s, and adding a second floor,” said David Shields, executive vice president and chief academic officer for Walsh College, via email.

“The college is in need of contemporary space for student life, for study space and to provide a home for our new success center, which will focus on business communication, career management and executive soft skills. The refreshing of the campus parallels our 15-year strategic building plan and current development in academic areas,” he added.

“This initiative underscores Walsh College’s long-term commitment to the growth and vibrancy that we see in southeast Michigan and Troy,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO of Walsh College, in a prepared statement.  “The improvements represent our high-quality educational programs, meet the needs of today’s students, and put a contemporary face on the Walsh College business brand.”

Other recent building renovations at Walsh College’s Troy campus have included a Barnes & Noble bookstore in 2012 and a finance lab in 2013.

“Walsh is targeting to be LEED certified for this project,” Shields said.

The Barry Center is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certified.  LEED certification is a point system that recognizes green measures such as vegetated roofs, water and energy conservation, diverting construction waste from landfills, reuse of products, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation.

Construction on the renovation is expected to take 18 months, with an anticipated starting date late this summer.  A combination of investment, and capital funds and financing supports the project’s funding, as well as philanthropic giving from alumni and others, college officials said.

The architect for the project is Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, who also designed the Barry Center.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.