CMU Trustees Approve $13 Million Residence Life Improvement Project

By Aziza Jackson

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees recently approved $13 million in funding for the first phase of their residence life infrastructure improvement plan.

It is the first of three phases in a $76 million plan that includes a number of campus and facility renovations.

“This project will significantly improve existing residence life facilities, construct new facilities and plan for future improvements,” said Barrie Wilkes, vice president for Finance and Administrative Services. “Every part of this project is focused on supporting the success of our students.”

Phase one will fund the following initiatives in 2019:

  • Modernization of the North Residence Hall Complex
  • Several South Residence Hall Complex projects, including the addition of interior access controls and improvements to sidewalks and pavement, exterior lighting, and mechanical systems
  • Improved ventilation and exterior lighting enhancements in the East Residence Hall Complex

The first phase also includes demolition of Barnes Hall, which opened in 1951 and is the only remaining residence hall on campus with community bathrooms.

Kathleen Gardner, director of residence life, said decommissioning a residence hall always brings fond memories for alumni. In this case, that includes Leader Advancement Scholars, whose living and learning community has been in Barnes.

“Barnes Hall has been a great home to thousands of students during their time at CMU. There are strong ties to a building where lifelong friendships were formed and memories were made,” said Gardner. “This is a time to celebrate the history of Barnes as we also look to evolve our residence life program for generations to come.”

Additional phases of the project — anticipated for 2020 and 2021 — include:

  • Modernization of the Merrill and Robinson residential restaurants
  • Construction of a North Campus Wellness Center
  • Creation of a Central Plaza green space between Sweeney and Thorpe halls
  • Construction of a new parking lot south of Broomfield Road
  • Planning for the demolition and replacement of Northwest Apartments and Kewadin Village