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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 11:16 a.m.

University of Michigan to close 571-student North Campus dormitory

By Paula Gardner

Major changes continue for students on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, as officials announce they're closing a North Campus dormitory that has 571 residents this year.


A rendering of the renovations done to Stockwell Hall, one of the Hill-area dorms that have been renovated during a residence hall overhaul in recent years at the University of Michigan.

According to a report in The Michigan Daily, Baits 1 will close after this year due to an estimated $6 million in necessary repairs -and the fact that the 1960s-era building is otherwise outdated.

The news comes as U-M completes renovations to Alice Lloyd Residence Hall, following a series of renovations to Hill-area dorms; plans a project at East Quad; and just opened North Quad in fall 2010. Residence hall upgrades are projected to cost $440 million.

The news also comes as U-M officials say they plan to limit admissions next year, yet more new student housing is planned near campus by private developers.

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Tom Joad

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

I only visited that dorm once and it felt like a trip to Siberia. Imagine how the residents felt

Long Time No See

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

If you read the earlier comments from people who actually lived there, then maybe you wouldn't have to "imagine".

say it plain

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

Perhaps I wasn't clear above...I'm not saying the UM has built new towers that they're saving through the closing of Baits---but that the *private developers* who've built these new (non-UM-owned) towers should be breathing a sigh of relief every time the UM takes one of their few dorms offline... I think the UM should have been building way more in the way of dorms for their students, and it has been a weird aspect to the real estate/development scene here for forever that they have seemed to not care about housing their own students very much. Now that it's becoming an aspect of competition for the dollars of the college-costs bubble, sure...they'll care more. They built the lovely North Quad, and they will continue to upgrade their dorms... And the Ann Arbor downtown will continue to experience this boom in student housing with tanning beds and so on, built tall to maximize profit. The closing of any UM dorm rooms should help those new (non UM) student developments get the rents they're hoping for--and boost the ability of these big 'student housing project' investor/developer types to get even *more* such projects going!


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

Imagine! Fifty year old buildings needing refurbishment and updating? Who could imagine? Fifty years of people moving in and out year in and year out. Massive changes in requirements for electronics and other infrastructure over those decades. Perhaps during one of the worst recessions since the 1930's this might, maybe, be the perfect time for the University to invest in the local economy and update some of the old, outdated facilities and spur economic growth at the same time? You know -- employ lots of construction employees who might appreciate the jobs? Leverage the ability to complete the projects at a more reasonable cost due to the poor economy and the competitive nature of the bidding process? You do realize that the State doesn't provide any money to students to pay for housing? They pay for housing on their own? So regardless of whether it's University housing or private housing elsewhere, they are going to choose what works best for them and it might not be a 50 year decaying facility. Unbelievable.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

I can't see the point that you are trying to make. The University has made the decision to close the building, citing more reasons than just cost. Your arguments and overuse of question marks make no points other than suggesting that the University needs to invest in the local construction companies to update the buildings (which they have and are currently doing at costs just under HALF A BILLION DOLLARS) and suggesting that students might not want to live in out-dated buildings (the reason that the Residence Halls are being updated.)

say it plain

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

I agree it's a great time to refurbish their decaying dorms... I wish they hadn't waited so long in fact, and I think it's not an accident that they're doing so now that they're seeing so much competition for the housing dollars... I wish they had done so before the landscape changed so much because they weren't serious about meeting their students' housing needs.

say it plain

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

Oh, *thank goodness* the UM has decided to save those new hi-rise developments lol! Now they can have a better chance of filling their obscenely overpriced units, and the downtown central campus area can be more truly *all about the UM students*, phew ! And the UM can further develop the land of North Campus to expand their business-research partnerships there, and have like maybe little commuter trollies through or slightly "around" the "Ann Arbor downtown" to get to the rest of UM's dominion, the State Street/Division-Washington/Liberty allllll the way thru to the Diag....alllll the way through to the Washtenaw....etc etc etc. Oh, yes, and with City Place all the way out to the very edge of the West Side.... It won't even look like quaint old 'historic' homes that the students are wrecking lol, it will just be 'new' boxes and towers...

say it plain

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 6:58 p.m.

The ones that private developers have been building to deal with how the UM doesn't build enough dorms to house their students...the towers 411 Lofts and Zaragon 1 and 2 and on up, the one going up on Forest, the one soon to go up right next to it, etc.... *Those*, that get built because the UM had waited so long for the lovely new North Quad building and close dorms instead of building them (though I guess they are at least trying to update their outdated ones). There is demand for decent housing central to campus. There is demand for dorm space for UM students. I would love it if the U itself would actually build the spaces, on their land, so that there could be other uses for the 'downtown' areas that are becoming so student-oriented that other kinds of retail and housing aren't 'feasible' given current economic conditions.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

The University has built just one new residence hall since the Johnson administration. Before North Quad opened, "Michigan Opens New Residence Hall" was older news than "Beatles Break Up". What "new hi-rise developments" are being saved through the closing of Baits I?

John of Saline

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

I liked Baits. It is fairly isolated, but it's good for upperclassmen in their last year, for instance. Free parking, easy bus access, and a nice setting, with a short walk to the Bursley cafeteria.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

Whether or not this building needed to be replaced, should the UM be spending $500 million per year for the last decade on new construction and renovation in hard economic times? That is more than $12,000 per student per year. Does UM need to be competing with private developers?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 7:51 p.m.

Yes. Much better that the U sit on its mountain of money and not spend it while local construction firms, their suppliers, and their employees sit idle through the worst economic downturn in 70 years. Seriously? Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 5:40 p.m.

Baits 1 was great for being quiet at night when you wanted to study. Yes it was vas very isolating over there but some of the buildings on the far western edge have some of the best views of north campus imo. I spend two years in Baits 1 and I enjoyed my time living there.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

and Oxford housing??

quiet observer

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Thank goodness. This cluster of buildings was very poorly designed. Intended for graduate students, the architect assumed that older students would wish to be isolated from each other. Wrong. Even the graduate students hated it. Consequently the U forced freshmen to live there. The isolation has been very depressing for 18-year-olds and is contrary to what the University claims it tries to provide for its new, incoming students. While overdue, this action on the part of the University is a welcome one. Baits II next?