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Lake Michigan College campus opens for first time in four months

NOW: Lake Michigan College campus opens for first time in four months

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Lake Michigan College became one of the first colleges to re-open its campus since the pandemic.

The college opened all campuses Monday after being closed for four months.

LMC is going to continue having summer classes online but re-opened almost all buildings, with the goal of easing into in-person classes come August.

“Admission, registration, advising, everything that a student would need to get registered for fall,” said Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, President of Lake Michigan College.

Campuses are open for student services and with signage, a health screening and social distancing -- they’re setting clear guidelines.

“When you come onto campus, you’ll be greeted by our staff and asked some questions for a health screening. If you do not have a mask, they will provide you one. Any time you’re inside the facility or cannot be six feet away outside, you need to wear a mask on campus. We have Plexiglas at all of our service areas, we have sanitizing stations and our team will be washing high touch areas down multiple times a day,” said Kubatzke.

While the plan is to return to in-person learning this fall, LMC has created five different options, including strictly online or hybrid learning, which they feel cover any potential developments with COVID-19.

“We know some people are ready to get back in the classroom and we know some people aren’t. So we felt by bringing five options together, a potential student could find an option that matched their comfort,” said Kubatzke.

And knowing that many are struggling financially, LMC is offering 10 percent off fall tuition, hoping to keep any student from having to put a hold on their education.

“We just felt with everything going on, the unemployment rate, we need to do something to try and help and not have people take gaps,” said Kubatzke. “Because as soon as you stay out one semester, it’s harder to get back into your education.”

Summer workshops are also back at LMC and are happening at the Hanson Technology Center’s Fab Lab.

They’re limiting space to four people per class, having participants wear masks and disinfecting stations after each use — the same guidelines they’re using throughout campus.

In one workshop, participants can make face shields, masks and ear savers all with materials and equipment provided by the college.

“What we were able to do was 3D print the visors and then laser cut the actual shields themselves, with directions to place them together so that you have a protective covering over your face,” said Chad Dee, Director of the Hanson Technology Center. “And then we morphed into doing face masks, so we were able to get some old jean shirts to recycle.”

The next PPE workshop will be Wednesday and costs $30. To register, head to lakemichigancollege.edu/fablab.

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