The University of Michigan took another step toward developing a new $631 million Central Campus residential complex, as the Board of Regents approved the project and updated construction timeline Sept. 21.
The new housing and dining project, located between East Hoover Avenue and Hill Street, will meet the demand among undergraduate students for affordable, on-campus housing on Central Campus.
Construction on the 2,300-bed and 900-seat dining hall facility, which was previously expected to roll out as a phased approach beginning in fall 2025, is now expected to be completed by summer 2026 due to complexities with the site.
The facility, which received schematic design approval in February, will include five residence halls, ranging between five and seven stories, and a series of green courtyard spaces and quadrangles along a broad pedestrian walkway.
During the meeting, Martino Harmon, vice president of student life, said that during phase two of the project, a space within the development will be named to honor Raoul Wallenberg in the area where he lived as a student in 1931.
Wallenberg, a 1935 graduate of U-M who served as a Swedish diplomat during World War II, is considered a great humanitarian whose actions saved thousands of lives during the Holocaust.
In order to keep the project on schedule, regents voted in May to continue critical site work, including drilling of geothermal wells, during the summer months and developed an agreement that expenditures would not exceed $30 million, in order to maintain the project’s expedited timeline. Expenses from the early sitework were rolled into the final project budget.
The university also entered into a development agreement with American Campus Communities to manage the project and meet the proposed project schedule. In December 2022, the Board of Regents approved Robert A.M. Stern Architects, an architectural firm, to design the facility.
The housing plan will be developed to align with the university’s stated carbon neutrality goals. The dining hall, for example, will use geothermal exchange systems for heating and cooling, as well as an innovative all-electric design for both the housing and dining facilities.
It also incorporates new energy-efficient building standards and solar panels on the roof. The complex is designed to earn LEED Platinum certification.
Funding will be provided by reserves and bond proceeds, with debt service paid from Housing resources.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the project site.
To proceed with the Central Campus housing and dining project, plans also included relocating and designing a new Elbel Field one block north of the current field.
The new field will provide a new $15.4 million practice and teaching facility — among the best in the nation — for the Michigan Marching Band.
Due to some unexpected technical challenges with the site related to stormwater management, the project timeline for the new Elbel Field has been extended. University officials expect the new Elbel Field to be ready for the 2024 football season.
The band will continue to use the existing Elbel Field, then relocate to Ferry Field once the residential construction begins.
The new practice area will be 2.7 acres, as opposed to 1.5 acres at the existing Elbel Field. The main field will be sized and oriented in a north-south position to match the game field at Michigan Stadium.