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By Walter Kraft 

The most significant facelift of the Eastern Michigan University campus in decades is taking place this spring and summer. Final construction of two new on-campus apartment buildings, renovations to residence halls, the demolition of four buildings, completion of a new 3D digital arts complex, and a number of sustainability/energy conservation measures lead the way. Many of the projects are scheduled for completion before the fall semester begins.  

“It’s a bright new day on Eastern’s campus,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “The level of investment in new modern living spaces and in demolishing older buildings is changing the footprint of this great university as we celebrate our 175th anniversary as the second oldest public university in Michigan. These efforts reflect our determination to continuously improve the dynamic learning and living environment of our campus to meet the needs of today’s students. At the same time, our investment in energy conservation measures is modernizing the infrastructure of Eastern Michigan, an investment that will benefit the University for decades to come.” 

Below is an overview of the major construction/renovation activities taking place this spring and summer. 

Welcome Home: Campus Living Redefined  

Completion of the $200 million investment in two new apartment-style housing units and renovations of virtually every residence hall room on campus is already showing results, with housing deposits for the fall semester well ahead of last year.  

  • New buildings: Lakeview and Westview apartments – early August completion 
  • Renovations: Sellers and Phelps – early August completion 

(Renovations at Downing, Putnam and Walton residence halls completed in 2023.) 

Visit Welcome Home: Campus Living Redefined for details.  

EMU residence halls

Courtesy of EMU

Sellers and Phelps residence halls are being renovated and will open in early August. 

Demolition 

  • Brown and Munson apartments: Constructed/completed in 1941 (Munson) and 1949 (Brown).  
  • Demolition scheduled to begin late June to be completed by fall 2024.  
  • Green space site restoration taking place through the fall of 2024 with completion scheduled for December 2024.  
  • Jones and Goddard residence halls: Constructed/completed in 1948 (Jones) and 1955 (Goddard).  
  • Demolition to take place over the spring/summer – to be completed by end of August. 
  • Includes relocation of utility tunnel and other miscellaneous utilities to be completed over spring, summer and fall with completion expected in November 2024. 
  • Green space site restoration taking place through fall – completion expected in November 2024. 

Energy Conservation Measures 

Investments of $25 million across campus to reduce electrical, heat and water demand. Project to be phased over 3 years (2024-2026). 2024 projects include: 

  • LED lighting upgrades: Mark Jefferson, Boone, Oestrike, Coating Research Institute, Pray Harrold, Student Center, Porter, Warner Gymnasium, Judy Sturgis Hill, Halle, Boone, Bowen, DC-3/Police, Ford, JSH, Porter, Warner, MJ, PH, Rackham, Rec-IM, Sill, Strong, Student Center, Coatings, Oestrike and Central Operations. Mainly to be completed in summer 2024.
      
  • Building automation systems upgrades and optimization: Pray Harrold, Mark Jefferson, Student Center, Sill, Strong, Rackham, Rec/IM. Mainly to be completed in summer 2024. 

Windgate Arts Complex Completion 

  • Final construction of the new Windgate Arts Complex in the EMU School of Art and Design is underway and the facility will open this summer. The complex, funded in part by a gift from the Windgate Foundation, is designed to advance opportunities in several arts disciplines by providing a new and expanded space that establishes a collaborative, creative environment for artmaking. It will house the following programs: sculpture, ceramics, furniture design, digital fabrication, 3D design, and metalsmithing. The programs were previously housed in several buildings across campus.  
EMU Windgate Arts Complex

Courtesy of EMU

The Windgate Arts Complex is set to open this summer. 

Halle Library Renovation 

  • Reconstruction of main floor of the library will transform it into a state-of-the-art information commons. The reconstruction includes an improved Academic Projects Center, new gallery, the addition of two centers, the Civil Rights & Social Justice Center and the Center for Jewish Studies. The Holman Success Center, Faculty Development Center, University Writing Center and Academic Projects Center will remain in the building. University Archives and the Oral History Program will move to the first floor as part of the project for increased visibility.The renovation also includes new student study and research space, and three recording studios for student/faculty use for podcasts and other recording projects. Work began in May and is scheduled to be completed in mid-August 2024.
      
  • The renovation is the result of a gift from the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation. Bruce T. Halle, who died in 2018, is the founder of Discount Tire and an Eastern Michigan University alumni.  

Mark Jefferson Building Classroom Door Locks Installation 

  • Installation of interior classroom locks as part of ongoing campus safety initiative. Project completion scheduled for the start of the fall 2024 semester. (Installation of new door locks in Pray Harrold, Sill and Strong halls have been completed under the initiative.) See news release on safety initiatives for additional details.  

Campus Infrastructure Upgrades 

  • New electrical infrastructure is being installed to better serve the Cornell and Fletcher buildings. The work will involve boring holes underground. The engineering process is underway and completion is expected in winter 2025.
      
  • West Campus will undergo electrical infrastructure upgrades involving directional boring underground to move the infrastructure from above ground. Engineering is underway, and the project is expected to be completed in winter 2025. 
      
  • These upgrades may also be visible on main campus due to work in the underground utility tunnels and may impact driving due to roadwork, underground construction, and other changes. 

Children’s Institute (Fletcher Building) 

  • Thanks to funding from the State of Michigan’s Caring for MI Future: Facilities Improvement Fund, renovations to the Fletcher Building will add new classroom space to support growing demand for Children’s Institute services. Completion is planned for June.  

Roosevelt Hall Renovation 

  • Initial planning for the $40 million renovation project will begin this summer the assessment of existing building conditions, focusing on infrastructure, structure, and building envelope. Programming to begin in fall 2024. Project completion planned for fall 2028. See news release for additional details.  

Rynearson Stadium Turf Replacement 

  • Existing turf surfacing removal and subgrade rework, new turf installation over the summer with completion planned for early spring. See news release for additional details. 
EMU Crosby Football Field

Courtesy of EMU

 

This rendering shows Crosby Field with new gray turf added and the running track removed. 

Indoor Practice Facility Dome Replacement 

  • The dome was deflated the week of May 27 and replacement of dome fabric, air handlers, lighting, goal posts, and banners will take place over the summer. Completion scheduled for early August 2024. 

New Outdoor Track for Track & Field Program 

  • Subsurface grading, infield drainage, infield surface and track construction is underway over the summer. Track surfacing in September, with final completion including striping early November 2024. See news release for additional details. 

Alexander Music Building 

  • Interior improvements including signage and finishes. Completion scheduled for August 2024. 

Roofing and Exterior Envelope Work 

  • Roofing work includes Parson’s Center Classroom Building (Traverse City), Kresge Center Dormitory and Dining Buildings (Fish Lake Environmental Education Center, Lapeer), Halle Library, and Coating Research Institute. 
      
  • Painting of Sherzer Hall dome and miscellaneous campus building exterior façade repairs are underway with completion planned for fall 2024. 

 

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