Unprecedented level of summer campus construction at Eastern Michigan University touches upon wide variety of areas in academics, campus life

Steel supports inside the new Health Center under construction

YPSILANTI – The sounds of construction echo through the Eastern Michigan campus this summer, as the University engages in an unprecedented number of capital projects that touch on myriad phases of campus life, including academics, athletics, recreation, health, safety, technology, and, of course, parking.

It’s a ritual of summer – cranes, bulldozers and construction fences dotting the Eastern campus – but this singular summer’s activity is exceptional in its range and scope.

“The summer at Eastern Michigan University always abounds with construction and improvements to our beautiful campus, but this year is special,” said President James Smith. “The variety of projects serve a great range of student and community needs that touch upon academics and various facets in the quality of campus life.”

The highlights, outlined in a presentation to the Board of Regents at its regular meeting June 13, include the following.

Health Center construction aerial photo
View a gallery of construction projects underway on EMU's campus, including the new health center on north campus.

Sill Hall renovation: Sill, the home of the renamed College of Engineering and Technology, is being renovated at a cost of $40 million, with completion set for fall of 2020.

Olds Robb/Rec IM renovation: The $16 million project involves extensive improvements to fitness and training areas, a new entrance and attractive collaboration and gathering spaces. The third through fifth floors will be compete in fall 2019, with the first and second floors to be done in fall 2020.

Student-Athlete Performance Center: The $20 million project, of which $12 million is to be funded through fundraising, involves a new two-story structure adjacent to the north end zone of Rynearson Stadium. The project includes a new weight room, athletic training and meeting rooms, offices and a scoreboard. Work began last summer and is set to be complete this month.

New Health Center construction: You can vividly see this project taking shape at the northwest end of campus. The $14 million project is a collaboration between the University, St. Joseph Mercy System and IHA and involves two single-story buildings. One is a community health center staffed by IHA and the other will house Eastern programs such as CAPS and the Psychology Clinic. Completion is set for January 2020.

Mark Jefferson Science Complex – Neuroscience and Fermentation Science buildout: The $2.1 million project involves renovation of the fifth floor of the complex to support the recently established Neuroscience and Fermentation Science programs. The project will be complete in fall 2019.

IT campus capital projects: This work involves the updating of more than 100 classrooms with technology, completing a seven-year cycle; along with computer network upgrades in all buildings and campus Wi-Fi in the Tower residence halls. The work will be completed in Augusts 2019.

Campus security: This $3.6 million, three-year project involves the addition of fencing around selected parking lots, the addition of LED lighting in the campus mall, Oakwood Street, Ann Street and selected parking lots and security cameras all around campus. The campus now has more than 900 cameras.

Campus Parking and Paving Projects: The University’s parking partner, LAZ, is funding a dozen projects spread over this past fiscal year and during this summer. Those includes repairs to the main parking structure, located in the center of campus; extending Lyman Street, work on Cornell Drive and a variety of other parking lot repairs.

For further details about this summer’s capital projects, please see the review of capital projects presentation.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 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; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school.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.

June 13, 2019

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom