Schlack said KVCC officials already have heard of public entities and private developers showing interest in the downtown and Southtown areas of Kalamazoo where the Healthy Living Campus will be located.
Making college affordable is a huge issue for the leaders at KVCC, Schlack said.
Schlack said she also wonders whether KVCC has the revenue to sustain the revenue they would need to support more students under Obama's plan, including more instructors and equipment.
Schlack said KVCC, like other community colleges, serves as a feeder school to four-year universities and transfers up to 3,000 students a year to Western Michigan University.
What made a difference this time: The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo, which is operated through the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, kicked in $150,000 for the planning process, and KVCC, KRESA and the Lumina Foundation also offered support.
EMC students would then take dual-enrollment classes at KVCC or specific courses that offer college credit through EFE and EFA during their junior and senior year, school officials said.
The students' fifth year of high school would be mainly spent at KVCC finishing up their college program of study, although students could take classes such at their home high school, such as band or choir.
McCurdy said KVCC is taking a "system-wide" approach to food.
In May 2013, KVCC formed a partnership with Bronson Healthcare and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to develop a campus focused on wellness and food sustainability.
KVCC has launched a search for two key administrative positions with the new campus: a director for sustainable and innovative food systems and a director of culinary education.
While KVCC is not a research institution, McCurdy said the space will be ideal for exploring cutting-edge growing and processing technologies and he hopes to partner with growers and food professionals in the area to explore the building's potential.