March 17, 2016
The University of Michigan has put plans to construct a new transportation operations and maintenance facility on hold after hearing concerns from residents near the North Campus location.
During a recent neighborhood meeting, residents in the adjacent communities expressed frustration over the proposed location and potential impacts on the neighborhood. Several dozen residents from the neighborhood also voiced their concerns to senior university leaders at the March 17 Board of Regents meeting in Dearborn.
"It is clear that we did not adequately engage with the community early in the development of this project," said President Mark Schlissel. "We are changing our process so it will not happen again."
University officials will seek and evaluate further community input. All permitting requests have been withdrawn and no bids have been issued for this project.
"Ann Arbor and its people are great friends and partners of the University of Michigan. We strengthen each other tremendously, and U-M would not be U-M without Ann Arbor," Schlissel said. "I want us to take a fresh look at this project."
Initial plans call for the $38.5 million, 100,000-square-foot building to be constructed near Green Road between Baxter and Hubbard roads, relocating from Kipke Drive on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.
The proposed center would accommodate current and future maintenance space needs, including the flexibility to handle larger articulated buses. It also would house heavy-equipment maintenance operations that are currently in a separate building.
After listening to concerns from residents at the board meeting, Regent Mark Bernstein added, "I am very much impacted and impressed by your comments and advocacy work. We are engaged to come to a favorable conclusion here, and we don't know what that will be yet."