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Updated 2:30 PM September 19, 2005




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Regents polish 'Blue Apple' project

A student on the 4th floor of Bursley Hall has a major Internet-based project due tomorrow and his roommate's group project members have taken over the room and don't appear close to wrapping it up. No problem; wireless access in a comfortable setting is available two floors down.

Another student on the 6th floor has just returned from class and has 30 minutes to change, eat and be at a rehearsal in the School of Music. Not to worry; just pick up the phone or go online and place an order downstairs for something to grab on the way out the door.

Although this is not the scene today in the North Campus residence hall, when construction on a new space for the Bursley Blue Apple is complete—a project approved Sept. 15 by the Board of Regents—students will be able to choose from a variety of light meal options, purchase grocery items and access the Internet from a coffeehouse-style food emporium.

The first of its kind on campus, the emporium will offer food prepared on site, including pizza, and deli-style salads and sandwiches. A small grocery will feature self-serve hot and cold beverages; dairy products, such as packed ice cream and yogurt; pre-made salads; frozen meals; and other grab-and-go options. Personal and household items also will be sold in the small retail outlet. Students will be able to call in or go online to order food items in advance.

The Blue Apple will have soft seating laid out in a café-like setting to accommodate about 100 people. A small stage with a sound system also will be available for coffeehouse-style concerts and other presentations.

The food emporium concept is one that addresses student desires for dining options that fit their lifestyles, as identified in the Residential Life Initiatives (RLI), a comprehensive plan to update the University's aging residence halls.

"An operation that combines convenient hours and a variety of fresh foods with access to the Internet and a place to socialize is what today's busy students at
U-M have told us they want as part of the dining program," says Carole Henry, director of University Housing and assistant vice president for student affairs. "Our plan is to turn the Blue Apple into a community gathering space that not only will be convenient for Bursley residents, but also will be accessible to students who live in Baits Houses and the Northwood apartments."

In the interest of security, and to allow Baits and Northwood residents access to the emporium, the renovation plan will include a new exterior entrance to the Blue Apple. The 4,600-square-foot facility will encompass the current terrace and game room space. The $12 million project also includes work on electrical systems, and fire protection and suppression equipment.

Regents also approved another life safety project Sept. 15 for Oxford Housing. Fire detection and alarm systems in the three-story housing complex will be updated, as will the fire suppression system. Cost of the project is $3.9 million.

During the past three years, the University has upgraded life safety systems in several of its residence halls—a process that will continue with a goal of completing all hall fire alarm upgrades by 2007, and all sprinkler system installations by 2011.

The projects will be funded by University Housing resources and investment proceeds.

For more information on the RLI, go to:

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