Regents approve replacing Central Campus Recreation Building


The University of Michigan’s largest recreational sports center will soon be replaced by a new 200,000-square-foot facility that will allow greater access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff to improve their health and well-being.

The Board of Regents on Thursday approved the $150 million replacement of the Central Campus Recreation Building, 401 Washtenaw Ave.

The project follows recent extensive renovations to the North Campus Recreation Building and Intramural Sports Building.

“This level of investment shows how important recreational activities can be to the University of Michigan student experience, as well as the work experience for U-M faculty and staff,” said Mike Widen, director of recreational sports. “A new facility of this level can also assist in U-M recruitment and retention efforts by showing our commitment to students and creating the types of spaces where they want to be.”

The new facility will include modern gyms, a running track, spaces for weight and cardiovascular training, group exercise rooms, aquatics, climbing areas, squash and racquetball courts, locker rooms and support and administration spaces.

“I’m thrilled that we will be able to give University of Michigan students a centrally located fitness and wellness hub where all students can connect with peers and feel welcome,” said E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life. “With a brand new CCRB, we will reach even more students, as evidenced by the record membership numbers set at both the IMSB and the NCRB when they opened.”

Although some adjacent parking spaces will be lost during construction, the project will have no permanent impact on parking.

An examination of the current facility, which consists of several structures built between 1956 and 1978, showed structural issues that made reusing the building unfeasible. The issues included low ceiling heights and variable floor levels.

In conjunction with the project, the School of Kinesiology will relocate to the Edward Henry Kraus Building, 830 N. University Ave., in 2020, and the Department of Dance will move into a new building on North Campus at a date that has not been scheduled.

“The existing areas in the CCRB have served the campus well over the past six decades, but physical activity, health, wellness and fitness look quite a bit different today than they did when the doors first opened,” Widen said. “We look forward to engaging with our students and U-M community in the design work for this significant addition to campus, and we can’t wait to see its impact.”

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 once the project design is approved.

Funding for the new CCRB will be provided by investment proceeds, donor gifts and the student fee for facility renewal. The project is expected to provide more than 130 construction jobs.


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