Wayne State is implementing construction projects that will impact our daily activities. Three noteworthy projects are the Mike Ilitch School of Business, Elliman Renovation, and Student Center Building Renovations. Along with these, there are a number of smaller projects that will be continuing work through Winter of 2016.
Mike Ilitch School of Business
Following decades of remarkable business successes and numerous sports championships, the Ilitch family, through Ilitch Holdings and Olympia Development, has recently begun construction of a massive real estate development venture, The District Detroit. As planned, the District Detroit will become a business, sports, and entertainment epicenter which is expected to create and revitalize six new and unique neighborhoods north of Campus Martius and south of MidTown. One of the neighborhoods, Woodward Square, will include the Bowl, a new sports arena complex for the Detroit Red Wings that will front Woodward Avenue. In addition to featuring the iconic arena, Woodward Square will be a vibrant, mixed-use destination that will surround the arena with a soaring glass-covered concourse pulsating with nightclub electricity, food vendors, restaurants, and retail shops.
To enhance the Woodward Square experience, the Ilitch’s have offered the University the opportunity to build a new School of Business fronting Woodward between Temple and Sproat, immediately north of and adjacent to the Bowl. Mike and Marian Ilitch have generously gifted the University $35 million towards construction of the new building and $5 million for an endowment following the completion of construction. As now envisioned, the Mike Ilitch School of Business will provide approximately 120,000 gross square feet of space over three and a half floors. The planned program will provide amenities such as a large lecture hall, flexible classrooms and seminar rooms varying in size and adaptability, office and administration space, and a food service component supported by students and the business community.
You can read more about the District Detroit and generous gift here.
Harwell Field Baseball Building
As a tribute to the long partnership betwen the famed Detroit Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell, and his wife, Wayne State University has raised funds to build a baseball building in recognition of Ernie's prestige. This lasting testimonial will benefit not only the last college baseball team still active in Detroit but will also be a resource and destination for camps, youth leagues, and high schools that use the facility throughout the year.
Harwell Field Baseball Building will provide a foyer to recognize the achievements and contributions of the Harwell's and will showcase a 2,000 square fott display room that will hold major league baseball artifacts and memorabilia collected by the Detroit Historical Society and Harwell Foundation. The design of the building, which will be located behind the current backstop, will permit future project efforst to create spectator grandstand and a press box.
Thompson Home Conversion to Studnet Housing
The Thompson Home was built in 1874 to provide a home for aged women. The elegant and substantial structure, containing forty rooms, formally opened October 22, 1884. Designed by George Mason, one of the best-known architects of the period, Thompson Home is a Victorian structure in the Queen Anne style and is listed as an official Historic Detroit Landmark. Sunrooms were added in 1914 and additional quarters for the staff were built in the 1950s. An addition built in 1964, which created a five bed infirmary adjoining the home on its south, was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benson Ford.
The conversion of Thompson Home to student housing is part of a multi-year housing plan to expand the capacity of university-controlled housing from 3000 to 3750 beds by 2021. The assumed occupancy in a renovated Thompson Home would be approximately 65, organized around an academic learning community theme. The anticipated project scope includes selective interior demolition, the removal of hazardous materials, and new partitions with improved sound attenuation. A new stair tower will be created to provide required emergency egress pathways, and other life safety and electrical upgrades may be required to satisfy applicable codes for residence halls. A new bathroom core and community kitchen will also be constructed on each floor along with a kitchen in the lower level with space for group dinners. Recent mechanical system upgrades will be adjusted to the new use, and the technology infrastructure will be upgraded to meet current standards. Multiple lounge and study spaces are anticipated as well.
The building was constructed in 1989. In connection with the completion and occupancy of the Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio) and the planned closure of the Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) building at 110 E. Warren, several active research programs and teams will be moved from the Elliman Research Building to IBio and Scott Hall. Following those relocations, Elliman will be partially renovated to accommodate KCI research operations currently located at 110 E. Warren, enabling the closure of that building.
The project scope includes minor selective demolition and reconstruction of existing laboratories to create additional shared lab equipment support space, and modest laboratories improvements that will focus mostly on interior finishes, lighting and laboratory casework repairs. Electrical and mechanical scope is included to support research equipment installations. The building’s vivarium will also be improved to provide two additional surgical suites and a new cage washer.
Student Center Building Renovations
Originally constructed in 1969, the Student Center Building has seen a drastic renovation this year. The renovation touched the basement through third floor to provide a completely new food court and dining area, new student activity and organizaiton facilities, and significantly improved retail and recreation options. The building footprint has been expanded by converting the exterior colonnade on Gullen Mall into interior space.
With the basement through third floor complete, the fifth and seventh floors are on the docket for renovation. The project will renovate the remaining open space on the fifth floor for the Office of Housing and Residential Life and create an Office of New Student Orientation. The seventh floor will be completely overhauled to better accommodate the faith-based groups of the Newman Catholic Center and the Baptist Student Union, as well as the Ombuds Office, all of which support students in their transition to college life. The seventh floor will also accommodate the new office of multi-cultural student engagement.
The project scope includes interior demolition, the removal of hazardous materials, and the construction of new partitions with improved sound attenuation. The finishes and furniture will be upgraded to provide a more inviting environment. Mechanical systems will be replaced to provide better temperature control thoughout the floors, and floor-wide fire suppression systems will be provided to bring both floors up to code. The electrical and technology infrastructure will be also be upgraded to meet the needs of the departments.
For more information, click here.
Electrical Service Upgrades
During the past decade the University has experienced several electrical power outages including the northeast regional power outage of August 2003. On many other occasions the University has experienced wide variation in electrical voltage as supplied by both the Detroit Public Lighting Department (PLD) and Detroit Edison (DTE). Problems with PLD electrical reliability have been especially acute in recent years, forcing the University to shut down operations and cancel classes in June 2011 and September 2013. Planned solutions to mitigate the impact of major outages as well as “brownouts” and power surges include additional emergency back-up power generators, uninterruptable power supplies for sensitive instrumentation, and time delay restart devices for freezers. Multiple buildings and locations will receive electrical service reliability upgrades such as generators, uninterruptable power supply, freezer protection, and service entrance upgrades.
Midtown Loop (Phase III)
Midtown Detroit, Inc. will begin renovations to complete the Midtown Loop Phase III project. This project will complete the decorative colored concrete sidewalk on the east side of Cass Avenue from Kirby to Putnam and the west side of Cass Avenue from Kirby to Canfield. Site fixtures include LED pedestrian lights, benches, bike racks, drinking fountains, and landscaping. Decorative Comerica Street lights will be installed from I-94 to Canfield. Additionally, bicycle lanes will be placed from Grand Boulevard to Lafayette, Lafayette to Washington, Washington to Jefferson, Jefferson to Bates.
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