Eastern Michigan University’s annual capital budget for 2019-2020 continues reinvestment in academic facilities, student housing, campus technology and security

EMU campus aerial

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents today (Dec. 14, 2018) approved a $15.2 million capital budget for 2019-2020 that includes investment for classroom technology, safety and security, academic facilities and housing upgrades.

Projects in the annual budget include include:

• Upgrades in classroom technology, network/servers, campus Wi-Fi and the Data Center, totaling $3.3 million.

• Safety and security enhancements, totaling $3.1million. The University now has more than 900 cameras on campus.

• Housing infrastructure upgrades, totaling $1.5 million.

• The demolition of Snow Health Center, totaling $1.1 million, to be replaced by the new health center currently under construction at the north end of campus.

• Crucial infrastructure improvements in academic facilities that include the Mark Jefferson, Quirk and Warner buildings, along with The Honors College, totaling $835,000.

The capital budget is in addition to several financed major projects set to finish or get underway this coming year. Those include:

• Health Center ($14 million): The center, a collaboration with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) and IHA, will provide primary care and urgent care services to the University’s students, staff and the greater community. The project is currently underway. The center is being built on open land off Huron River Drive and Oakwood Street, near the present headquarters of the EMU Department of Public Safety. The center will offer primary care services, 7-day-a-week urgent care, including x-rays; and laboratory and pharmacy services. The University will continue to provide counseling and psychological services (CAPS) now offered in Snow Health Center, as well as operate the Psychology Clinic (currently housed at 611 West Cross Street) in the new facility.

• Strong Hall ($40 million): This is a complete building renovation and addition for a crucial facility that houses numerous labs for STEM classes, and which represents the third and final phase of the Science Complex. Construction started in fall 2017, with the building set to reopen in January. The project has involved renovation of the entire 80,713 square feet structure, including modernizing classrooms and labs, lecture halls, student commons areas and faculty offices, along with creating flexible use spaces for research and instruction and updating of architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical systems. The project is part of the capital outlay plan of the state of Michigan, which is paying for three fourths of the project cost, or approximately $30 million.

Athletic Sports Medicine and Training Facility ($20 million): The project, which is to include substantial fundraising support, is underway at the north end of Rynearson Stadium. It includes a new, approximately 60,000 square foot building along with a new scoreboard. The facility includes a new weight room, equipment room, training and nutritional space, football locker room, coaching locker room, coaching offices and team meeting spaces, including a team lounge. Construction began last summer, with substantial completion scheduled for July 2019.

• Sill Hall ($40 million): This major project, set to begin next month, involves the renovation and expansion of Sill Hall, home of the College of Technology. The project provides new engineering programs such as mechanical engineering and computer and electrical engineering with renovated lab space for research, computer simulation, virtual and augmented reality and other specialty purposes, along with lecture halls, collaborative learning spaces and administrative offices. The existing 92,635 square feet at Sill Hall will be renovated while expanding the building space by an additional 16,000 square feet.

In addition, this fall the University submitted the renovation of Jones and Goddard Halls, Phase II of the College of Technology’s plan for engineering program growth and expansion, as the University’s top project request for state cost participation for fiscal year 2020. Jones and Goddard Halls are currently closed buildings that were previously used as University housing. They are located adjacent to Sill Hall. The approved cost to complete Phase II of the College of Technology Engineering Program Growth is $40 million. At a funding mix of 75 percent state and 25 percent Eastern, the University’s cost share would be $10 million. The project would include selective demolition of both Jones and Goddard halls to provide the renovation of 44,000 square feet within Jones Hall and a 26,000 square foot-addition from the existing open courtyard space between the two buildings, totaling 70,000 square feet of renovated or new space.

• Rec/IM Building ($16 million): This winter, Eastern is set to begin a major renovation of the Olds-Robb Rec/IM Building, a series of enhancements that will add significantly to the quality of student and staff life at the University. The $16 million renovation will begin in January 2019, with completion set for August 2020. The goal of the project is to improve the look, feel and utility of the building. Renovation priorities include enhanced access, including rebuilding of the main entry from the east, and constructing a new entry from the north, with striking views of the lakes and the EMU Student Center. The renovated building will larger exercise, fitness and student collaboration spaces along with improved gaming, recreational and study areas.

• Science Complex, Fifth Floor Build Out ($1.4 million): The project involves a build out of the fifth floor of the Mark Jefferson Building to accommodate lab and classroom space for the new fermentation science and neuroscience programs. Construction will begin this winter, with completion set for the Winter 2020 semester.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

December 14, 2018

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom