Regents approve renovations to Intramural Sports Building


The Intramural Sports Building, a heritage structure on the U-M campus and the iconic heart of the Department of Recreational Sports, will undergo a comprehensive renovation. The Board of Regents approved the project Thursday.

Constructed in 1928, the IMSB was the first university recreational sports facility in the country. The proposed improvements to the building will update infrastructure including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and Internet upgrades; accessibility improvements; exterior window replacement, stone and masonry repairs; lighting improvements, and gymnasium floor replacement.

To address changing programmatic needs for fitness, wellness and recreation, the project will reconfigure existing space within the building to provide larger areas for cardio and weight training, group exercise, and improved racquetball courts, locker rooms and spaces for social interaction.

“This project is important because through Recreational Sports, students have the opportunity to learn, lead, participate and compete in its programs and facilities,”  said Loren Rullman, associate vice president for student life.

The department employs 600 students and supports 18,000 student participants in intramural sports and 2,000 in club sport teams. Among its three buildings, the department receives one million visitors per year.

“The University of Michigan is regarded throughout the nation as the founder of the campus recreation profession, and it is a tremendous honor to help assure that the first building dedicated to our profession is preserved for years to come,” said Mike Widen, director of recreational sports.

The project is the third in a planned program of improvements and renovations to revitalize important student life facilities for students and the campus community. Earlier this month, the Fireside Café was opened in Pierpont Commons, and Mitchell Field improvements for intramural and club sports are expected to be completed in October. Planning will soon commence for improvements also to the Central Campus and North Campus recreation buildings.

“It’s time to return the IMSB to its stature as a facility for the leaders and best,” said Rebecca Sigourney, co-chair of Building a Better Michigan. “BBM’s role in this project is to ensure that the student voice has been heard in this process, from a wide variety of students. These buildings are made for the students and we want to ensure the facilities accommodate everyone, now and in the future.”

The estimated cost to renovate the approximately 106,000-gross-square-foot building is $18.7 million.  Funding will be provided from investment proceeds and the student fee for facility renewal.

The architectural firm of Integrated Design Solutions, in association with the firm of RDG Planning and Design, will design the project. The construction schedule will be determined when the project design is approved.


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