Sept. 16, 1997
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will dedicate its new aviation facilities at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek Friday, Sept. 19.
The public ceremonies will begin at 12:45 p.m. following a private luncheon in the hangar/laboratory/maintenance building at 237 N. Helmer Road. Preceding the dedication, the WMU Board of Trustees will conduct its regular meeting at the facilities. The meeting will begin at 10:45 a.m. in the library of the classroom building.
Speakers at the dedication will include: WMU President Diether H. Haenicke; U.S. Sen. Carl Levin; U.S. Rep. Fred Upton; Battle Creek Mayor Ted Dearing; Joseph H. Dunlap, director of the WMU School of Aviation Sciences; Capt. Fergus Woods, head of standards for Civil Aviation Authority Flight Crew Licensing; and Richard G. Haworth, chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees. Serving as master of ceremonies will be George A. Franklin, a member of the WMU board and vice president for worldwide government affairs at the Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek.
The event marks the culmination of a four-year process to relocate the School of Aviation Sciences from aging and cramped facilities that could not be expanded at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. The school has moved from a 27,000-square-foot facility in Kalamazoo into 76,500 square feet in Battle Creek.
The new facilities include three buildings: a renovated flight operations building that is the former airport terminal and tower; the new classroom building; and the renovated hangar/laboratory/maintenance building.
The entire value of the project is estimated at $38 million. Construction costs were financed by a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and $6.5 million in matching funds from the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority. The project also was supported by Battle Creek Unlimited, the city of Battle Creek, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Kellogg Co.
The School of Aviation Sciences offers the state's only public four-year bachelor of science degree program in aviation and currently enrolls some 550 students. The school recently earned stamps of approval from both the Council on Aviation Accreditation and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, paving the way for its new International Pilot Training Centre.
Public tours will follow the ceremonies.
Agenda items for the Board of Trustees meeting include a recommendation on the appointment of a presidential search consulting firm. The firm would assist the board, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and associated staff in finding a successor to Haenicke, who this summer announced that he would step down as president to return to the faculty, effective July 31, 1998. The board also is expected to consider a recommendation on Haenicke's annual evaluation and compensation.
Committee meetings will precede the full board meeting in the same room. Times are: Academic and Student Affairs Committee, 9:45 a.m.; and Budget and Finance Committee, 10 a.m. All meetings are open to the public.
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