Student Housing Groundbreaking
A crowd of about 700 joined the groundbreaking celebration on July 16 for the first student residence hall on the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint.
Acting UM-Flint Chancellor Jack Kay told the crowd the large turn-out reflected the interest the community has in the project. "I am thrilled that so many of you have chosen to celebrate this momentous occasion with us, since this is a celebration of not just our campus, but of this community as well. It is in fact, a victory for the future of Flint."
Ironically, the date of the groundbreaking coincided with Chancellor Juan Mestas' final day as chancellor. President Mary Sue Coleman announced his resignation earlier this month. Kay noted that it was Mestas' vision to bring housing to the Flint campus.
"Over the last two weeks, since the announcement of his resignation, accolades have poured in, paying tribute to our Chancellor for his steadfast belief that the addition of student housing would enhance this campus and community. It is fitting that today, on his last official day as Chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint that his hard work has come to fruition in the form of this groundbreaking ceremony."
The U-M Board of Regents approved the 310 bed facility in October of 2006. Construction of the 100,000 square foot, four story building will begin in late July or early August. . The facility is different from the traditional dormitory buildings found on many college campuses. It will feature two and four-bedroom units, including handicapped-accessible units. All units will contain one or two bathrooms, a kitchen, and living room.
"From the start, this project has been a collaboration with our sister campus in Ann Arbor," said Kay. "This new residence hall is the first for the University of Michigan to be built outside of Ann Arbor."
The cost of the project approved by the U-M Regents is $21,300,000. Funding will be provided from University of Michigan-Flint resources, gifts and grants.
The new residence hall will be located near the Murchie Science on what is now Parking Lot G. The parking lot comprises approximately 5.25 acres, and is situated on the southern edge of the campus adjacent to First Street and Willson Park.
UM-Flint adopted a strategic plan to grow enrollment from 6,500 students to 8,000 students by 2010. A key element of this plan is to create the option for a residential experience for its students.