Governor Whitmer makes it official – signs legislation approving 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

front image of Roosvelt Hall that shows steps leading up to main entrance.
Roosevelt Hall (file photo)

YPSILANTI –  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer today (Dec. 18) signed legislation approving 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. The plan was approved by the legislature on Nov. 2.

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. Eastern’s Roosevelt Hall 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 thankful to Governor Whitmer and members of the Michigan legislature, particularly Sen. Jeff Irwin and Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr.,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “Their ongoing support is helping us to transform our campus as we continue to deliver academic programs that help our students land exciting careers and support the needs of Michigan employers.”

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, autonomous vehicle research, robotics, aviation, construction management, and virtual reality. The building features maker spaces and other collaborative research and work environments. The college also offers many direct partnerships with some of the largest employers in Southeast Michigan. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 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.

December 18, 2023

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher