U of Michigan’s Student Union to Undergo $85M Renovation

The two-year project is expected to begin in spring 2018.
Michigan Union in Ann Arbor, Mich., rendering
Michigan Union in Ann Arbor, Mich., rendering

Ann Arbor, Mich.The University of Michigan Board of Regents has approved the schematics for the $85.2 million renovation of the 97-year-old Michigan Union.

The project will enhance student social space on the main level by expanding lounge and study spaces and will create state-of-the-art student organization and student involvement space, improve areas for counseling and student support services and enhance meeting space near the Rogel Ballroom. It will also improve accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout the building.

“The project team has worked to create highly interactive spaces that allow for students and student organizations to interact with each other in meaningful ways,” Royster Harper, U-M’s vice president for student life, said in a prepared release. “For almost 100 years, the union has been the place that the university family gathers to celebrate, collaborate, remember and create what is truly special about Michigan.”

The design calls for a new glass and steel roof structure over the courtyard and the project also includes plans for the enclosure of the courtyard for year-round use.

“The nature of Michigan weather dictated the patio could only be used a few months per year. We also heard from students and others on campus about the need for more programming space,” Susan Pile, senior director for university unions and auxiliary services, said. “The enclosed courtyard will create a new vibrant, year-round social hub as a place for students, campus-wide events and informal gathering space.”

The Michigan Union currently consists of the original building, which opened in 1919, and additions that were added in the 1930s and 1950s.

The project also plans to address infrastructure needs such as life safety; electrical, mechanical and plumbing improvements; elevator replacements and upgrades; replacement of the roof; restoration of windows; and some interior finish upgrades.

Funding will be provided from the Student Life student fee for facility renewal and investment proceeds. The two-year project is expected to begin in spring 2018.

Image courtesy of University of Michigan