Flurry of construction projects concludes as fall semester starts at EMU

Phase Two of Science Complex among capital improvements completed over summer of 2012

by Debra Johnson, Published September 14, 2012


Renovated Lobby in the Mark Jefferson Building


YPSILANTI - The completion of Phase Two of the Science Complex, a state-of-the art facility that will help educate future teachers, researchers and other science-related professionals, highlights an active summer of construction at Eastern Michigan University.

Phase Two, which involved the renovation of the former Mark Jefferson Building, includes refurbished labs, classrooms and academic offices. Along with the Science Complex Addition, which opened in the winter of 2011, Phase Two wrapped up a three-year, self-funded $90 million capital project.

Green technologies were incorporated throughout the Science Complex, making it one of the most environmentally sound facilities on campus. Phase Two renovations included installation of a variety of high-tech amenities, including special hoods and ventilation systems for labs and new furnishings for classrooms, offices and in the study spaces for students.

The Science Complex Addition, which faces Oakwood Street, features a planetarium suspended above a five-story atrium that serves as a visually impressive gathering place for students and staff. The Science Complex houses the biology, chemistry and psychology departments.

Hoyt Residence Hall, one of three residential towers located on the north end of campus, received a facelift that includes new furniture, carpeting, paint, shower valves and finishes in the lobby and bathrooms. In addition, half of the dorm rooms were converted from single rooms to doubles. The renovation project cost $2.16 million.

The Rackham Building, originally constructed in 1938 and renovated in 1968, was updated with new HVAC units along with new energy efficient windows and exterior doors. The EMU Department of Public Safety's Environmental Health and Safety office is located in Rackham, along with faculty offices for the College of Health and Human Services and several other campus units.


New Claudia Wasik Tennis Complex

Other noteworthy capital projects completed over the summer include:

  • The Claudia Wasik Tennis Complex was constructed on the north side of the EMU indoor athletic practice facility, with six outdoor tennis courts for the women's varsity tennis team. A leadership gift was received from Claudia Wasik, along with a supporting gift from Lucy Parker to offset the total cost of the project. Parker graduated from EMU in 1958 and went on to serve the University's athletic department as a coach and athletic director from 1976 until her retirement in 1991. Wasik served EMU as an athlete, coach and professor for more than 30 years and was named Mid-American Conference women's tennis "Coach of the Year" in 1983-84 and again in 1986-87.
  • The McKenny Hall parking lots and driveway were completely overhauled to include a redesign of both the existing faculty/staff and student parking lots. New asphalt and sidewalks were installed, along with new landscaping. The area is not only more functional but also more aesthetically appealing as one of the entryways to campus. Total cost of this project was $430,000.
  • A new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) entry ramp was built at the Dining Commons 1 (DC-1), including a new door, railings, and concrete ramp along with extensive landscaping with boulder retaining walls. DC-1 is centrally located on campus and offers the campus community an excellent, and health-conscious venue for dining.
  • A new back-up generator was installed in Rynearson Stadium for the tower lights on the east side of the stadium. Cost was $15,000.
  • A structural steel frame and decorative metal screening panel was installed in front of the chiller unit in the John W. Porter Building, which houses the College of Education. The cost of the project was $80,000.

In addition, several buildings received mechanical upgrades, including Alexander, Pierce, Halle, Owen, Porter, and Marshall, and fencing was installed along a portion of Oakwood Street and the Alexander Music Building. Routine maintenance was performed to several parking lots on campus.


Debra Johnson

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