Latest University of Michigan residence life project highlights West Quad for $115M facelift
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The central campus dormitory, built in 1937, is slated for a $114.5 million renovation.
AnnArbor.com file photo
This newest project brings the anticipated dorm renovation tab to roughly $626 million. The first renovated hall opened in 2008 and West Quad likely would open in 2015.
School administrators will seek permission to go forward with the design stage of West Quad's "deep renovation" during a 3 p.m. Thursday Board of Regents meeting at the Michigan Union.
The school wants to renovate the 370,000-square-foot hall, eliminate its dining center and repurpose the space to include areas for student interaction and learning. After the renovation, residents of West Quad will dine at South Quad, which will undergo its own $60 million renovation beginning in the summer.
The project will incorporate infrastructure improvements, a roof replacement, renovated bathrooms, window repairs and accessibility improvements.
Parking, according to an internal memo, won't be affected by the project, which U-M estimates will provide 138 construction jobs. Integrated Design Solutions LLC will design the project.
Officials have said construction likely will begin during summer 2014.
The project is one of many in recent history intended to improve student housing at U-M. Others include:
- West Quadrangle: A $114.5 million renovation will be proposed Thursday
- South Quadrange: A $60 million renovation is scheduled to begin this summer
- Lawyer's club: Undergoing a $39 million renovation
- East Quadrangle: Undergoing a $116 million renovation
- Vera B. Baits Houses II : Underwent a $12 million renovation in 2012
- Alice C. Lloyd Hall: Opened in 2012 after a $56 million renovation
- Couzens Hall: Reopened in 2011 after $49 million renovation
- North Quad: Opened in 2010 after $75 million construction project
- Stockwell Hall: Reopened in 2009 after a $39.6 million renovation
- Hill Dining Center: Reopened in 2008 after $21 million renovation
- Mosher Jordan Hall: Reopened in 2008 after $44.1 million renovation
Meanwhile, U-M spent $8.5 million for dorm maintenance in 2010-11.
Aside from the Lawyer’s Club renovation, which is being paid for in part by a large donation and in part by the law school, the residence hall renovations are funded by University Housing, which derives its funding from student room and board fees.
Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com
Most are part of housing's residential life initiative, which was introduced by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman a decade ago. Coleman's employment contract specifically states that she is tasked with continuing the initiative in order "to improve university housing across the campus."
Since the residence life initiative started, University Housing has set aside 2 percent of student room and board fees to finance the renovations.
In the past three years, student dorm fees have increased by 3 percent each year. This year's increase marks a $284 hike in the rate for a student in a standard double room, which now costs $9,752 per year. In a 2012 interview, Coleman called the initiative one of her top accomplishments since coming to U-M in 2002.
"I'm a great believer that it's the holistic experiences that students have at college and a university setting that really make them what they become in their careers," Coleman said. "We hadn't done much with our residence halls in the previous 35 years, so when we really started this it was a huge task."
Meanwhile, administrators will seek approval for the schematic design of the South Quad renovation.
Plans for that project include expanded dining facilities, refurbished lounges, updated bathrooms, infrastructure improvements and the creation of group study spots and other community hubs. South Quad was built in 1951 and in the early 1990s the hall's windows were replaced, library updated and elevators rehabilitated.