Michigan legislature approves Eastern Michigan University capital outlay funding for $42.5 million renovation of Roosevelt Hall

Project supports future engineers and technologists; represents Phase II of expansion of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology

Michigan legislature approves Eastern Michigan University capital outlay funding for $42.5 million renovation of Roosevelt Hall

YPSILANTI –  Eastern Michigan University received approval from the Michigan legislature Thursday (Nov. 2, 2023) for the $42.5 million plan to renovate Roosevelt Hall, which is phase two of the growth and expansion plan for the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology (GACET). The plan calls for the renovation, expansion and repurposing of Roosevelt Hall, originally constructed in 1924 as a high school, to accommodate advanced technology programs. 

With this action by the Michigan House and Senate, final approval of the capital outlay process now rests with Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

Michigan’s capital outlay process dictates a funding mix of 75% state contribution (capped at $30 million) with 25% Eastern contribution. The University’s cost share will be $12.5 million. The project was ranked No. 1 by the State Budget Office among all requests submitted by other Michigan universities.

Roosevelt Hall is home to four departments in the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, including the Technology and Professional Services Management School, Visual and Built Environments, ROTC-Military Science, and K-12 STEM outreach. Improved infrastructure will support the projected 65% growth in the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology enrollment over the next 10 to 15 years and student interest in obtaining degrees in technical fields that provide higher incomes and stability.

In its most recent rankings, U.S. News and World Report ranked Eastern number one among Michigan’s public universities for undergraduate engineering programs where no doctoral degree is offered. U.S. News also ranked Eastern number one in Michigan in the category of Social Mobility.

Roosevelt Hall is a strategic piece of the overall vision of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. Project plans include renovating 75,639 gross square feet (gsf) and modernized space for student advising centers, collaboration and maker’s spaces, and faculty offices, along with an expansion of approximately 10,000 gsf for enhanced accessibility. The renovation will allow the University to relocate existing programs from Sill Hall to Roosevelt Hall to provide additional space for the engineering programs in Sill Hall to grow.

“We’re extraordinarily pleased to launch another important building project that is part of Eastern’s continued commitment to provide first-class academic and student success facilities to our students from across our state, region, and international communities,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “We thank members of the Michigan legislature, in particular Sen. Jeff Irwin and Rep. Jimmie Wilson, Jr., and Governor Whitmer, for looking to the future needs of state employers and students as we continue to establish pipelines for successful careers in engineering, cyber security, aviation, construction management, interior design, and other related technology fields.”

State Senator Irwin said, “I'm exceptionally proud to work with EMU to deliver this important project. Roosevelt Hall is a historic structure and will be a tremendous asset to students for decades to come.”

State Representative Wilson, Jr. said, "EMU and its students are an integral part of the Ypsilanti community, and I’m glad that we were able to approve this outstanding project. Engineering graduates are in high demand and this will help fill that critical void."

In early 2021, the University completed phase one of the growth and expansion plan of GACET. Completed at $40 million, the new Sill Hall has become a University showcase of technology focused on engineering, cybersecurity, construction management, autonomous vehicle research, robotics, and virtual reality. The building features maker spaces and other collaborative research and work environments. The college also offers a robust aviation program with direct partnerships with some of the largest aviation companies in Southeast Michigan. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 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. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

November 03, 2023

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher