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WMU aids Manhattan Community College

Sept. 28, 2001

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is one of several colleges and universities around the country that is responding to an appeal for help from Borough of Manhattan Community College, which was extensively damaged by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

WMU is sending a tractor trailer loaded with used classroom furniture for use in temporary classrooms, which BMCC is setting up in trailers and rented office spaces. Included in the shipment, which is expected to arrive in New York City Oct. 4 , are about 200 desks and chairs and several dozen computer workstations.

BMCC enrolls about 17,000 students in degree programs and an additional 8,000 in continuing education programs.

The main BMCC building is situated on 4.28 acres in lower Manhattan, approximately three blocks from the World Trade Center. The main building is seven stories tall and covers four city blocks.

Immediately following the terrorist attacks, the main BMCC building was used as a triage center and staging area for rescue teams. It was later used as a morgue. College officials hope to reoccupy the main building beginning the first week in October.

In 1993, BMCC received the largest donation ever made to a community college, Fiterman Hall, a seven-story building located adjacent to the World Trade Center. Fiterman Hall recently underwent a $62 million renovation. It housed much of the college's newest equipment and technical facilities.

When Tower 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, it destroyed one corner of Fiterman Hall and extensively damaged the remainder of the building. According to one college official, the building and all it housed, including 60 classrooms and a business incubator, will probably be a total loss.

BMCC and CUNY (City University of New York) officials used the Internet to send an appeal for classroom furniture and equipment. One of those e-mail appeals was received by Evie Asken, WMU director of campus planning, who took the request to President Elson S. Floyd. Richard Piper, director of logistical services, and several other WMU staff members worked with Asken to arrange for the transfer of the classroom furniture.

For more information about Borough of Manhattan Community College, visit their Web site at www.bmcc.cuny.edu.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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