Architectural Rendering of Harrison Campus after renovations.

Renovated harrison campus

Project Funding
Why Renovate the Harrison Campus
Outcomes & Expectations


Mid’s newly-renovated classroom building represents a nearly $13M investment in the Harrison Campus. The changes make Mid an even more inviting place for members of the community and provides a more student-friendly atmosphere. In addition to improving classroom, library, and student activity areas for current students, the project provides adequate space to accommodate a 25% growth in future enrollments.

Largely prompted by the College's inefficient and failing mechanical and electrical systems, the renovation achieves improvements in energy efficiencies that position Mid as one of the most energy-efficient community colleges in the State. Building layout and design changes promote improved usage for both educational and student support spaces like the campus food pantry, Veterans' Resource Center, campus store and cafe, fitness center, and study and collaboration areas.

The finished renovation also adds student and community amenities, including the new Poet Family Outdoor Education Center, funded cooperatively through the College, Mid Michigan College Foundation, and a USDA Rural Development Grant.

Bolder. Brighter. Better.


Before, brick walls and solid doors flanked most hallways in the classroom building, rendering it dark and dated. Fluorescent lighting and drop ceilings drew attention to the low ceilings and lack of natural light.


Now, the drop ceilings have been removed, and light fixtures and ceiling clouds add visual interest. New LED / Daylight harvesting lighting improves both the efficiency and appearance. Natural lighting comes in through windows at regular intervals. In the photo above, the glass-fronted Campus Store (behind the blue walls) allows outdoor views before opening into a windowed student lounge area. New flooring and wall colors highlight the character of the building's original brick.


Pictured Above: Another view of the renovated second floor hallway from outside the new Campus Store

"The ribbon-cutting celebration at Mid Michigan College was a beautiful reminder of how the College continues to strive to meet the changing needs of its students and our community. Top-notch education at affordable tuition rates have always made Mid a clear choice for those in our region! The faculty and staff are clearly passionate about serving their students and their dedication to service in our communities is second-to-none.

I am a proud supporter of Mid and want to congratulate the College upon the completion of this amazing remodeling of the Harrison Campus."

-- Bob Balzer, Director of Business & Economic Development-Gladwin County

Project Funding

Concerned with the age and condition of the College's critical systems, Mid saved for years in order to replace them. Funding for the project came from the College’s reserve funds, a municipal bond, and a special allocation from the State of Michigan.

Mid collects the lowest property tax revenue per student of any community college in Michigan, resulting in 91% of the College's operating budget coming from other sources. This reality has forced the College to rely on out-district resources to sustain the Harrison (in-district) Campus. The longterm savings from these infrastructure improvements move the Harrison Campus closer to being self-sustaining.


Better for Students

Students are more successful when they connect to others and engage in activities beyond course taking according to significant research.

Harrison's new campus design encourages engagement in co-curricular activities by consolidating services in the main corridor of the first floor (food pantry, Veterans' Resource Center, HelpDesk, Student Life, student lounges, etc).

Expanded and renovated library and learning spaces, adjacent to the student union, feature better resource areas and increased access to technology. Student lounges and gathering spaces throughout the building offer comfortable areas for campus visitors to socialize, study, meet, and collaborate.

Improvements to Campus grounds also emphasize engagement outdoors with patio seating areas and the outdoor education center.

Student safety and security is vitally important. New parking lot and interior lighting, along with security systems and controls make campus a safer place. New driveway and parking lot layouts nearly eliminate pedestrian/vehicle interactions.

Better Space Management

Enrollment patterns are changing, and the College has seen on-campus course-taking decline and online enrollment surge. Enrollment in classes at the Harrison Campus has decreased by 44.7% since Fall 2012, while enrollment in online courses has increased by 30%. The new campus layout matches classroom spaces with demand and provides updates that support connected and cyber learning.

Harrison and online enrollment patterns

Enrollment and room scheduling models indicate that the rescaled campus will provide 1,029 seats in the main classroom building, which would accommodate up to 25% more enrollment in Harrison credits.

Students benefit from reorganized classrooms and labs, which concentrate learning spaces around career pathways. Skilled trade learning labs are consolidated in the Technical Education Center, while health careers and science labs are unified in the main building’s east wing.

Better Efficiency = Better Stewardship

About 90% of the overall project investment funded new electrical and mechanical systems, as well as technology upgrades. Because removing and installing these systems required significant campus disruption and had major structural impacts (removal of roofs, walls, etc.), the College capitalized on the opportunity to address building usability, comfort, and aesthetics as well. Tying these efforts together achieved significant savings over having done each separately.

The College's failing HVAC and Air Handling systems needed to be addressed in order to preserve the campus' integrity. The new systems will extend the viability of the building by 20-30 years.


When the College announced this project, it also announced and published expectations for project outcomes and how they would be measured. Below are those original expectations, along with information about current or anticipated performance.

Overall Outcomes and Objectives as Originally Stated

Systems and facilities are replaced and upgraded to extend the life of the Harrison Campus by 20-30 years while invigorating its most important facilities. Learning environments are improved to support better student success. Co-curricular and student engagement spaces are constructed to facilitate more student-to-student interaction and greater involvement. Increased efficiencies save on operational costs that will be reinvested into academic program, student, and community development.

Expectations Outcomes / Current State
New electrical and mechanical systems and controls will increase campus efficiency, yielding considerable annual savings and creating a more sustainable and green campus.
  • New HVAC systems and controls allow for regulating energy flow throughout the building for greater comfort and energy efficiency.
  • New Energy Recovery Units (ERU) have increased efficiency by reclaiming and repurposing heat that would otherwise be wasted.
  • Technology updates consolidate many inefficient systems into one.
  • The College has applied for rebates available through DTE and Consumers Energy to offset the cost of these improvements.
Interior and exterior lighting will be converted to LED, leading to fewer fixtures with no loss of brightness. Projected savings of 2/3 current lighting costs.
  • All distribution panels and electrical infrastructure components have been updated and now meet National Electrical Code (NEC) standards. These updates have improved safety and efficiency.
  • All lighting was converted to LED with greater control for automatic on/off capabilities. Lighting is better for student study, comfort, and energy savings. Lighting improvements are equipped with daylight harvesting technology for added savings.
  • Although there aren't official comparisons, because the building is just opening, a 2/3 savings on lighting costs is still anticipated.
Science lab fume hoods and ventilation systems will be replaced, saving up to 90% of the energy loss during non-use.
  • New Energy Recovery Units (ERU) salvage the heat from these units. In addition, the controls provide safety warnings to protect students and faculty.
A new building management system will have automatic controls to conserve energy, including occupancy sensors for heating and lighting and daylight harvesting sensors. These controls will dramatically reduce the amount of time systems run while not in use.
  • A new central plant for mechanical systems makes the units in the renovated areas easier to manage and control. There is more work to be done on this aging campus, but these are important improvements for a large portion of the main building.
The new campus footprint will consolidate heating and cooling systems into one central unit. The campus was previously run on 2 separate chiller systems, along with a number of rooftop cooling units. The new chiller system will be the most efficient on the market, a magnetic bearing system, which will yield the College an upfront $90,000 rebate from Consumers Energy, along with significant annual savings.
  • While we reduced the campus footprint, adequate space is available to accommodate 25% growth in Harrison Campus enrollment.
  • One system now operates the entire main building.
  • The College expects the $90,000 rebate to occur.
A new building entrance and student union will concentrate student spaces for better engagement and involvement.
  • The design of this new space took into consideration student use of technology through Zoom Rooms (Internet-connected rooms) and active learning spaces, where many devices can share one screen for real-time tech collaboration.
  • Campus wifi access was improved. Additional charging areas were installed.
  • Safety & Security and Help Desk services are now featured in more prominent locations to improve responsiveness to student concerns.
  • A new conference room with an expansive view of Harrison’s wooded campus is now available. And a newly renovated Center for Teaching and Learning provides space for full and part-time faculty to interact with students.
  • The addition of a CNA lab will provide expanded training opportunities, and Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Career & Technical Education spaces were consolidated to provide a dedicated space for local high school students taking classes at Mid.
New parking lot lighting and interior lighting, security systems, and controls will improve overall campus safety and security.
  • These systems have been fully updated and a long-standing security concern is thankfully resolved.
  • Pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow conflicts have been reduced with the relocation of the main drive and will result in improved safety.
  • Parking lots are more accessible and allow for more direct routes to building entrances and services, making campus more convenient for students.
New outdoor learning and gathering spaces will promote greater use and appreciation of the campus.
  • Select outdoor learning and gathering spaces have been developed. The Poet Family Outdoor Education Center and patio spaces allow for opportunities to enjoy the campus grounds and host events. Native Michigan plants will also be featured in landscaping near the Outdoor Education Center
New outdoor learning and gathering spaces will promote greater use and appreciation of the campus.
  • The Campus' smaller footprint will concentrate students in common areas, creating a more vibrant atmosphere. See this in detail in the floorplans.
Evaluation Metrics Outcome / Current State
Annual energy and electrical costs will go down considerably; savings will be reinvested in student and academic offerings.
  • Infrastructure updates have consolidated many inefficient systems into one. The College has applied for rebates available through DTE and Consumers Energy to offset the cost of these improvements. Projected savings of 2/3 current lighting costs are expected.
  • Furniture for the newly renovated space was extensively researched to ensure quality and function, repurposed existing furniture was used when possible, and many fixtures and furnishings were refurbished rather than replaced.
Electrical and gas company rebates in the first year will assist in paying for new construction, renovations, and mechanical and electrical systems.
  • The College anticipates these rebates will be received and is always looking for cost savings and funding opportunities to reduce costs for students and better serve our communities.
Facility usage will improve, resulting in a greater occupancy rate and use-percentage during hours of operation.
  • While we reduced the campus footprint, adequate space is available to accommodate 25% growth in Harrison Campus enrollment. New "zones" (see building floorplan) better concentrate space into coherent functional areas.
Student activities and interactions will increase because of the new student union and overall building layout—particularly because foot traffic will be re-routed through student life and veteran services areas.
  • Student feedback was central to the design of the newly-renovated space and has resulted in centralized services, additional technology-connected spaces for student collaboration, more natural light, added safety measures, and improved traffic flow.
Student satisfaction of the campus environment will improve on future RNL surveys.
  • Future survey results will be reported.
Student satisfaction with campus safety will improve on future RNL surveys.
  • Future survey results will be reported.

In addition to the renovation specific updates above, the College has made great strides in other areas as well.

  • We’ve partnered with the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District to utilize their new Magnus Center Automotive lab for Mid students in the Automotive & Diesel Service Program.
  • Industry-recognized credentials from companies like Snap-on, Trane, Starrett, and Lincoln are now available to students in select Skilled Trades Programs and Short-Term Trainings. Mid’s Imaging Sciences Programs are available exclusively on the Harrison Campus and have recently expanded the credentials available to include EEG and CT.
  • The Harrison Campus septic field was re-structured and replaced in 2018, contributing to better water usage and campus sustainability.
  • The Mid Green committee, dedicated to fostering sustainability efforts at Mid, has implemented a recycling bin program, installed efficient water fountains and water bottle refilling stations, and collaborated with faculty on a student-led composting project.
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