Baker College of Flint Closes Purchase of Local Site for New Center for Transportation Technology

February 09, 2009

Baker College of Flint officials have announced the completion of negotiations and the purchase of 11.27 acres of land, including existing buildings totaling 62,055 square feet, from Al Serra Chevrolet. The capital investment will be used to house the new Center for Transportation Technology, a division of Baker College of Flint. The property is located at I-69 and Dort Highway, the site of the former Superior Pontiac, Olds and Cadillac dealership in Flint.

“This capital investment is a testament to our commitment to the economic recovery of our region and our response to the life-long learning needs of our citizens,” said Julianne T. Princinsky, Ed.D., Baker College of Flint president. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further invest in the future of Flint.”

The Baker College of Flint board of regents gave initial approval for the land purchase in July 2008, followed by approval in October 2008 for new building construction and renovation of existing buildings. The total 2008-2009 capital investment is in excess of $3.77 million.

“Baker College was searching for a new site that would be easily accessible to expressways and large enough to expand its transportation technology programs,” said Joseph O. Serra, president of Serra Automotive. “We are pleased that we had prime real estate to offer and that the property will be used for a very worthwhile endeavor.”

The renovations of existing buildings and new construction will take place under a two-phase process. Phase one, expected to be completed by start of fall 2009 classes, begins with the construction of a truck repair and inspection building, and trucking program lab areas. Other aspects of phase one include:

  • Renovation of the automotive technology and classroom building.
  • Refurbishing the exteriors of the used car, body shop and parts buildings, the car wash area and the storage facility.
  • Landscaping of islands and green areas.
  • Paving, sealing and stripping of parking lots.
  • Security wiring and equipment in all buildings.
  • Computers, phones and sound system in all buildings.
  • New furniture, computers and automotive equipment.
  • New signage.

Phase two includes renovations to three other existing buildings and will be part of the 2010-2011 budget proposal, which will be presented to the board of regents this April. Baker officials anticipate an additional $1 million investment in renovations and equipment in 2010.

Part of the overall expansion plan is the development and implementation of new programs.

“We will now have the opportunity to offer new programs and increase enrollment in the high-demand automotive technician arena,” said Phillip Whitmer, trucking program coordinator at Baker College of Flint.

Programs that will be offered at the new site for academic year 2009-2010 include: a Truck Driver Certificate, a Transportation Management Associate Degree, Automotive Technology and possibly Auto Body Repair.

New programs slated for academic year 2010-2011 include: Small Engine Repair, Marine Engine Technology, Small Business Incubators and other programs that address changes in the transportation industry.

Groundbreaking will begin sometime this spring. Jim Morgan, of Morgan Construction Company, will head up the project and Murray Young is the general contractor.

The Baker College System