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April 1, 2004
CONTACT: Ward Mulllens

State subcommittee overwhelmingly approves EMU student center project

YPSILANTI - The State's Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee (JCOS) voted 14-1 Thursday, April 1 to approve the Use and Finance Statement for EMU's Student Center and McKenny Union reassignment project.

"We are extremely pleased that the JCOS voted overwhelmingly to support this much-needed project. For years, the construction of a new student center has been the number one priority of the student leader group," said Juanita Reid, vice president for university relations at EMU. "It will be great for the campus and community to get this project underway."

A Use and Finance Statement is required by the state on all projects exceeding $1 million and not funded by the state.

"Renovation of Pray-Harrold remains our top academic building priority, but we have to wait for state capital outlay funding to accomplish this project," said John Beaghan, interim vice president for business and finance.

The new student center, which was approved by the EMU Board of Regents in January 2003, is planned to be approximately 180,000 square feet   - 73,000 square feet larger than EMU's current student union. It will be located between Oakwood and Mayhew roads, on the site of the Pine Grove apartments. The apartments will be razed. Approximately 150 residents of the apartments will be relocated.

The new student center will include food vendors, retail space, study rooms/lounge, an auditorium, as well as, the offices of the Dean of Students, Access Services, Veterans Affairs, Greek Affairs and many other student-oriented services.

The current student union (McKenny Union) was originally built in 1931 and was partially renovated in 1992.

McKenny will be reassigned as a "mixed use" building. It will provide much needed campus meeting room space; consolidation of administration functions including human resources, budgeting, career services, institutional research and university advancement. Much of McKenny's public space will be preserved.

The projected cost of the student center and McKenny Union renovation is $45 million.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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