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University of Michigan approves plans for residence hall that will accommodate 2,300 first-year students

Dec. 12, 2022
Officials say the project will be the first residence hall designed strictly for first-year students since 1963.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents has approved plans to build a residence hall and dining facility on the Ann Arbor campus that will house 2,300 first-year students.

Mlive.com reports that the project will be the first residence hall designed strictly for first-year students since 1963.

“Your first year as a student is such a vulnerable time,” University President Santa Ono said. “As our first-year students take their initial steps, it’s critical that they feel connected to our campus and community...The new construction will not solve all of our housing concerns by itself, but it’s a big first step.”

The facility will be built at Elbel Field, which now serves as a site for band practices.

The regents approved a $6.5-million initial planning contract for that project and another project to relocate the marching band practice location.

The architect is Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Martino Harmon, the university's vice president for student life, says Michigan has fallen behind the growing demand from undergraduates who want to live on campus beyond their freshman year.

He said that more than 2,300 students were turned away from campus housing this year because of the lack of capacity. About 76% of the more than 11,000 students in university housing are first-year students, officials said.

Ono said he hopes the additional housing units will enable the university to keep pace with growing enrollment, which broke records in fall semester by surpassing 50,000 students.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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