Emily Mokwa, right, and Colleen Norris, demonstrate what they are learning in Bertrand Crossing’s dental assistant program during an open house Wednesday at the campus. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
Emily Mokwa, right, and Colleen Norris, demonstrate what they are learning in Bertrand Crossing’s dental assistant program during an open house Wednesday at the campus. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Bertrand Crossing dedicates $1.8 million of physical improvements

Published 7:53pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lake Michigan College’s Bertrand Crossing Campus has come a long way in 15 years.

The campus took another leap forward Wednesday with the dedication of $1.8 million of physical improvements, including new science labs, dental labs and a Barnes and Noble bookstore.

“It’s difficult to believe that 15 years ago we would’ve been standing in a field,” said Mary Jo Tomasini, a member of the LMC Board of Trustees, during Wednesday’s dedication ceremony.

LMC President Dr. Robert Harrison said the upgraded labs allow Bertrand Crossing students access to state-of-the-art equipment to train for careers in health care, science and dental assisting.

“These substantial modifications are part of our continuing investment in providing our students with new opportunities to advance their education, and our dedication to evolving our programs to meet the needs of the Niles and Buchanan communities,” he said.

The new science and dental labs are located where the former fabrication lab and machine tool shop used to be. Barbara Craig, dean of Bertrand Crossing campus, said the fabrication lab has been moved to Niles High School’s career and technical education wing, while the machine tool shop was moved to Brandywine High School last year.

The new space also contains flexible learning spaces, where students can study or meetings can be held.

Emily Mokwa, of Niles, is a first-year student enrolled in the dental assistant program at Bertrand Crossing. She plans on working as an assistant for an orthodontist after graduating in around 18 months.

“I really love it here,” said Mokwa, a 2011 Niles High School graduate. “I got lucky that they put in this nice new lab when I started. It is very organized — there’s more than one chair so we can have more than one person learning at a time.”

The new dental assisting labs give students access to the latest dental assisting training equipment and technology, including digital radiography equipment, dental mannequins, computer work stations, complete dental reference library and three modern dental stations.

The new science labs include six collaborative workstations for four students each, with each station including two laptops.

Craig said the new labs and space were needed to meet the demand of growing enrollment, which set a record this semester with 587 students.

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