Delta College opens doors to students in new Downtown Midland Center

Students from the Midland area will attend classes this fall at Delta College’s new campus in downtown Midland. The building cost $13 million, with more than $9 million of that provided by community donors. 

Both Delta College and City of Midland officials say they’re excited for this new addition to the downtown landscape.

“To be able to bring this to downtown Midland is super exciting,” says Selina Tisdale, community affairs director for the City of Midland. “Not only will the students be able to take classes, but they’ll be able to take time to enjoy what all downtown has to offer.”

Tisdale expects anywhere from 300-500 students heading into downtown Midland throughout the day. She says downtown businesses are looking forward to changing up or adding to their business models to meet the needs of students coming to the area. 

Delta College anticipates that 300-500 students per day will attend the new Downtown Midland Center.“It’s a great environment,” says Tisdale. “There’s a chance to walk around and check out our local businesses. Those businesses are looking forward to making connections with students.”

Students will be able to park for free on the lower level of the parking structure located kiddy corner from the building. Govitz says meters were removed on the small lot adjacent to the building and there is additional parking on the street near the ramp.

“Walking around the downtown area will be a way students stay healthy, adding steps, all while visiting Midland businesses,” adds Tisdale.

Relocating Delta College’s campus to downtown Midland is a move that has been in the works since 2019.

“We are committed to meeting the needs of our students,” says Leanne Govitz, Delta College’s director of marketing and public information. “The convenience of having locations in Saginaw, Bay City and now Midland was important to Delta College.” 

The new Downtown Midland Center has a chemistry lab.Govitz says Delta College stakeholders and officials met with students and employers in the Midland area and asked what was important to them when it came to educational needs. They found that high school students are looking for transfer credit and dual-enrollment; students wanting a STEM focus and science labs were among the top needs and considerations.

“Most students in the area are looking for that science and math focus because of our employers [in the area],” says Govitz.

Attend the open house this Saturday

The public is welcome to see Delta College’s new Downtown Midland Center from noon-2 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 7 at 419 E. Ellsworth St. Free parking is available in the covered parking structure on East Ellsworth Street.

Refreshments, ice cream, giveaways and other activities are planned. Guests will be invited to take self-guided tours throughout the three-story building, viewing classrooms, science labs and even Delta’s STEM Explorer vehicle, which will be parked on site. 

This is the Learning Commons at the new Downtown Midland Center.Guests are also invited to talk with admissions, financial aid representatives, and staff to learn more about the one- and two-year programs offered at the center. In-person classes will be offered at the center this fall semester, beginning Aug. 28. Students can take business, health, science and transfer courses in a variety of formats. 

According to a press release from Delta College, the new location “will bring new opportunities for innovation, and programs will focus on STEM to meet the needs of area employers.”

About the building

Major funding was provided by the Dow Company Foundation and the Dow Corning Foundation. Additional funders include the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation and Charles J. Strosacker Foundation. The building’s site was donated by Chemical Bank and Dow. 

Delta's Downtown Midland Center will see 300-500 students per day.This 30,000-square-foot building was designed by TowerPinkster. Spence Brothers began construction on the building in fall 2019. The facility includes science and computer labs, classrooms, special-use training rooms, multi-purpose rooms and student services. 

Read more articles by Erika M. Hirschman.

A veteran freelance writer and former reporter with The Midland Daily News, Erika has covered a wide array of topics in and around Midland and Saginaw counties. She’s an award winning reporter, and holds a journalism degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy/Marygrove College. When Erika is not writing, she enjoys dancing in her kitchen with her two dogs and family. She loves to read, cook, travel and go to concerts. She’s lived in Saginaw County for 26 years.