by Walter Kraft, Published July 06, 2010
PSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University’s First-Year Center, which includes four residence halls and a dining commons, is getting a major facelift for fall. The facelift includes a new angled window design, new energy efficient windows and frames, major exterior cleaning, new siding to complement the blond brick exterior, new elevators, and new wireless internet throughout the complex.
The four residence halls that make up the First-Year Center include Sellers, Phelps, Putnam and Walton. The complex includes Eastern Eateries dining commons.
The $3.1 million window renovation and the $1.055 million elevator replacement is in addition to the interior renovations that took place two years ago, when the First-Year Center was outfitted with new furniture throughout.
“The renovations we are making will upgrade and modernize this highly utilized facility,” said John Donegan, chief of operations, Eastern Michigan University. “Not only will it be more energy efficient, but the exterior renovations will make the entire complex more attractive and visually appealing for our students.” The renovation project is providing approximately 60 jobs for area workers. Next year, the stair towers will be renovated to take them above the roofline to create a more striking visual appearance, and entrance canopies will be updated.
The four residence halls, which are adjoining, were constructed from 1966-1968. They house a total of 600 rooms for students.
The upgrades include new wireless Internet throughout the Center, a major objective of Carl Powell, chief information officer, Eastern Michigan University. “Our students will have wireless internet access from every corner of the building,” said Powell. “We plan to continue wireless upgrades through all residence halls with a goal of upgrading every building on campus in three years. “
The renovations to the First-Year Center are the latest in an ongoing facelift of Eastern’s campus. The $90 million science complex is currently under construction, with an expected completion of the addition in fall 2010. At the same time, the $42 million renovation of Pray-Harrold, Eastern’s largest classroom building, is under way. It is scheduled for completion in fall 2011. A new $3.9 million indoor athletic training facility opened in June.
“People who haven’t seen Eastern in a while are amazed when they see the changes taking place all over campus,” said Donegan.