When the university gets a new president, the official residence often undergoes changes as well. That is the case this summer as U-M prepares for the retirement of Mary Sue Coleman and the arrival of Mark Schlissel.
Crews have been working since April on a variety of repairs and renovations to the President’s House, 815 S. University Ave. It is the first major renovation to the building since 2002, when work was done before Coleman moved in.
With the home’s permanent furnishings temporarily in storage, most of the rooms in the three-story structure are a work in progress. Fixtures are draped with protective plastic, and the aroma of a fresh paint job is prevalent throughout.
The $1.7 million project includes several infrastructure upgrades — replacement of the fire detection, alarm and suppression systems, 25-year-old flat roof surfaces, and two 26-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning units — along with plaster repairs and painting inside and out.
The project also includes the renovation of three 1960s-vintage bathrooms and a small kitchenette on the second floor, installation of storm windows in the first-floor study, and wireless-access upgrades.
A $250,000 fund will allow for the purchase of furnishings that may be needed in the coming years.
Originally built in 1840 to house faculty when the university moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor, it has been the home to U-M presidents since 1852, and has been added to over the years.
The first floor of the 14,000-square-foot building is the public part of the building that serves as the site of various events and as a gathering place for the university community.
The upper floors, which include eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and a small kitchenette, comprise the private residence for the president and his or her family.
Recently, Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, and Stephany Anderson, facilities coordinator in Architecture, Engineering and Construction, took media representatives and photographers on a tour of the home. The following photos provide a glimpse at some of the work being done.