An update on the University of Michigan’s campus planning efforts highlighted current and future potential projects designed to support the mission of the university while serving a campus community of nearly 95,000 and more than 3.8 million visitors each year.
Sue Gott, campus planner in Architecture, Engineering and Construction within Facilities and Operations, presented an update on projects — in construction and under consideration over the next five years — for the U-M Ann Arbor campus to the Board of Regents on Thursday.
The projects address four planning themes, which are:
- Enhance campus life.
- Emphasize sustainability.
- Honor history and tradition.
- Strengthen connectivity within campus.
“Planning is about creating opportunities for future discoveries and innovations while remaining flexible to adjust to changes to meet the needs of our campus now and in the future,” said Gott.
“Successful planning has a direct impact on our ability to deliver amazing outcomes across the university that inspire people and make them proud of U-M, such as finding a cure to cancer and creating autonomous vehicles to hosting football games and creating inclusive spaces for people to live, work and learn.”
The Ann Arbor campus sits on nearly 3,000 acres — spanning about 6 miles — and includes nearly 36.5 million gross square feet of space. It includes:
- Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus, home to the Michigan Athletics complex.
- Central Campus, the historic core of the Ann Arbor campus.
- Medical Center Campus, U-M’s most densely developed campus.
- North Campus, the campus with the greatest capacity for future growth and development.
- East Medical Campus, home to several outpatient facilities.
Among the future projects mentioned was a successor for Mary Markley Hall — an existing student residential building — proposed for property the university owns on Fifth Avenue near Hill Street, located in close proximity to Elbel Field and the Intramural Sports Building.
Plans for North Campus include a future residential development at the southeast corner of Murfin Avenue and Plymouth Road, where the Northwoods Apartments are located; expanding the Bob and Betty Beyster Building to serve as the future home of School of Information and to expand the growing computer science department in the College of Engineering; and the new dance building within the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
With the relocation of the School of Information and the Department of Dance to North Campus in the coming years, nearly one third of U-M students will be enrolled in North Campus schools and colleges. Currently, about one third of students who live in U-M housing reside on North Campus.
“As we anticipate increased activity on Central, Medical and North campuses, improved connectivity between our core campuses will be essential to support our academic, research and clinical missions,” said Gott.
“We are continuing to explore opportunities to increase capacity, improve reliability, enhance sustainability, and provide greater efficiency that may, for example, help in reducing travel time which today can be as much as 25 minutes between campuses.”
Currently, U-M provides more than 30,000 bus passenger trips per day just between Central and North campus. The university continues to explore the possibility of a rapid transit system — such as a bus, train or monorail — to better connect the campuses.
Other current and future projects highlighted to the Board of Regents, include:
- The renovation of Michigan Union to improve the student experience while reinvesting in a historic heritage building on campus.
- The Dental Building, Central Campus Classroom Building and Ruthven Renovation as important projects supporting academics.
- The renovation and expansion of the LSA Building to enhance U-M’s academic mission and student experience.
- The new Clinical Inpatient Tower, which supports U-M’s clinical mission of providing excellent patience service and care.