Southwestern Michigan College today announced that Midwest Energy & Communications of Cassopolis has generously donated $10,000 to the ongoing renovation project to improve athletic facilities in the Charles O. Zollar Building on the Dowagiac campus.
“We are very grateful to Midwest Energy & Communications for seeing the potential in this project and for stepping up our partnership,” said Dr. Joe Odenwald, President of SMC. “With new video cards, LED lighting and Wi-Fi connections, this upgraded facility will be a showcase not only of their services, but also of their commitment to the community.”
Amy Pales, Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing for the Midwest, added, “At MEC, we are committed to building vibrant, relevant and sustainable rural communities. We are thrilled to support SMC’s efforts to become a leader in student sport and to help ensure local youth have the tools they need to succeed in the world of today and tomorrow.
Following the return of nationally ranked cross country teams to competition last fall, the SMC Board of Directors in May authorized the return of NJCAA men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and wrestling. for fall 2022. SMC is also launching a women’s competitive dance team. , a college bass fishing team and a cheer group to deepen student engagement.
To create a first class destination venue, the overall project includes replacing the original gymnasium floor with a new high quality basketball and volleyball surface, replacing the original bleachers with a new system that will meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and provide better comfort and accessibility for fans of all ages.
The project also includes the installation of energy-efficient LED ceiling lights, the installation of a new video scoreboard and audio system, the construction of new state-of-the-art locker rooms for the Roadrunners, the reconfiguration of the existing dressing rooms for visiting teams, the addition of an officials’ room and the construction of a second-floor suite of coaches’ offices and staging area – with a wall of glass overlooking the pitch – suitable for receptions, recruiting events and high-end viewing experiences. The facilities are scheduled to be ready for use by student-athletes in July 2022.
Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) provides electricity, propane and Internet over fiber to more than 40,000 customers in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Over the next five years, MEC will bring the Internet to more than 30,000 additional addresses as part of its mission to close the digital divide in rural Michigan.