Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, September 21, 2012

South Quad approved for renovation work

The Board of Regents on Thursday approved renovation to create a new dining center in South Quadrangle, as well as improvements to student bathrooms and community spaces in the residence hall.

The project continues the work of the Residential Life Initiatives (RLI), a planned capital program launched in 2004 to improve university housing and dining facilities and to strengthen the connection between living and learning on campus.

Constructed in 1951, South Quad is home to approximately 1,180 students, including the Honors Program, Shipman Scholars and many varsity athletes.

The recommended work will create a new Central Campus dining center that provides diverse food experiences, presented at several different stations around the dining area. There will be seating for 950 diners, with options for small and large groups, and an area that can be used for social and study space beyond meal service hours. The new kitchen will support an expanded service operation and trayless dining.

Entrance to the building will be redesigned to allow better access from West Quadrangle and the Michigan Union, and the reconfiguration of the dining area will provide uninterrupted passage from one end of the first floor to the other.

Additionally, the project will renovate student bathrooms with new plumbing and fixtures, and reconfigure the internal spaces to provide more privacy. Several single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms also will accommodate needs of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Improvements to community spaces will include a community center with a lounge and kitchen, group study rooms, music practice rooms and two central laundry rooms.

Additional infrastructure and building service upgrades will install air conditioning for the dining and community spaces, and improve the loading dock.

In presenting the South Quad proposal, Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper said: "The important improvements in the residential experience at Michigan, implemented through the vision and the plans of the Residential Life Initiatives, have been enthusiastically embraced by our students. In just a few short years, we have seen many exciting changes in Housing facilities that provide more support to our students' living and learning needs."

The Board of Regents also approved the commissioning of SmithGroupJJR, based in Detroit, for the project design. The renovation is estimated at $60 million, and would require closing South Quad a year for the construction work. Depending on subsequent approval of the schematic design, construction could begin in May 2013.

This RLI project will complement previous improvements made to South Quad that included new fire alarm and fire suppression systems, wireless Internet access throughout, student room flooring, and roofing upgrades.

Other RLI projects have accomplished upgraded fire alarm and suppression systems throughout the residence halls, the construction of Hill Dining Center and North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex, and comprehensive renovations of Mosher-Jordan Hall, Stockwell Hall, Couzens Hall, and Alice Lloyd Hall, which reopened in August.

Currently, East Quadrangle is closed for renovation and will reopen for the 2013 fall term. Renewal work was conducted during the past summer to install fire suppression in Baits II, install new roofing and insulation, and remodel the student rooms and community spaces there.