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Posted on Thu, Sep 3, 2009 : 12:33 p.m.

New North Quad residence hall complex on track for opening in fall 2010

By Linsey Maughan

The first new dormitory at the University of Michigan in four decades is taking shape on the southwest corner of Huron and State streets in Ann Arbor. Construction of the $175 million North Quad Residential and Academic Complex is on schedule for completion next summer, university officials said. The building, on the site of the former Henry S. Frieze Building. will welcome students, faculty and administration for the fall 2010 semester.

University Planner Sue Gott said construction crews are at work on the structure’s exterior facing. Windows are also being put in at this time. In addition, early work on the interior is under way “We actually have multiple crews working in different stages all around the building,” Gott said.

The building’s enclosure, which incorporates a salvaged portion of the historic stone structure of the Carnegie Library that was also on the site, should be complete this winter, and by spring construction crews will be focused solely on the details of the complex’s interior, Gott said. “We were not able to keep either building with new codes and new system requirements,” Gott said. “We were committed to protecting the heritage of those older buildings, and that is part of why the facade of Carnegie has been woven so carefully into the design of the north facade of the new complex.” Once complete, the North Quad Residential and Academic Complex will feature housing space for 460 students, classrooms, studios and office space for faculty. Contained within the building will be five of the university’s information and communication-related programs, including the School of Information and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA), as well as the Learning Resource Center. The North Quad’s residence hall is the first dorm built by the university in 40 years. Peter Logan, director of communications for university housing, said that while freshmen will not be allowed to live in the dorm, the selection process to determine who will live there will be the same as with other U-M dorms. “At this point we don’t anticipate it being much different from our current sign-up process, where students who are already at the university have the opportunity to sign up for preferred housing spaces,” Logan said. The cost of living in the North Quad dorm hasn't been determined. “We don’t know; we’re actually looking at our rate system for the various buildings,” said Logan. “It could very well be that North Quadrangle will have a similar rate structure (to our other dorms), but we haven’t fully worked through that yet.” The concept for the North Quad complex stems from the university’s Residential Life Initiatives, which were created by the Division of Student Affairs. “The whole idea of the Residential Life Initiatives is creating vibrant neighborhoods, recognizing that students learn in a variety of settings,” Gott said. "(The North Quad) was an opportunity for the university to create a mixed-use, technology-rich magnet for campus. It’s really a combination of opportunities and needs that all came together.”

Photo by Lon Horwedel | The setting sun lights up cranes as they loom over the ongoing construction at the University of Michigan North Quad Residential and Academic Complex.