Extension service to leave Scottville.

February 14, 2017

Extension service to leave Scottville.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Board of Commissioners approved a request Tuesday morning by Michigan State University Extension to move its offices from downtown Scottville to West Shore Community College.

The move will mean the first time in its over half century history in Mason County that the extension office will not be located in Scottville. The commissioners voted during their regular monthly meeting 5-2, with commissioners Steven Hull and Lewis Squires voting against the move. Hull represents District 5, which includes Scottville and Squires represents District 4, which includes Amber Township.

In a letter to the county commission, MSU Extension District Coordinator Michael Krauch said the move will foster a greater collaboration between WSCC and MSU, including the extension and the recently established Institute of Agricultural Technology program. He also stated the move will provide greater and more convenient access to programming and classroom facilities and classroom technology, easy access to catering services (when needed), convenient access to green space for certain programs, and an increased recognition and awareness of WSCC campus as a community asset. He also stated the college provides more parking for larger events and that the staff must currently shovel snow in front of its office.

MSU Extension is currently located at 111 S. Main St., the former Four Star Theater building, owned by Mitch and Tony Bogner. Annual expenses, which include lease, telephone, and janitorial supplies, is $9,925. The move to WSCC in Victory Township would mean an approximate annual cost of $6,600, a savings of just over $3,000.

In his letter to the county commission, Krauch outlined some of the disadvantages of moving the office, which include leaving a vacant store front in Scottville, relocation costs, and reduced square footage of office and storage space; the college is also in a rural location, he said.

The space at the college will be located on the second floor of the Recreation Center.

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