Constructed in 1937, the 330,000-square-foot West Quad and the adjoining Michigan Union-Cambridge House accommodate approximately 1,100 students. The improvements mark the first major upgrade to the building in 75 years, and have centered on renewing a heritage hall for use by new generations of Michigan students.
Infrastructure upgrades incorporated new plumbing, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems; new elevators, roof replacement and window improvements; renovated student rooms and bath facilities; and interior passage and accessibility improvements. The historic façade of the building has been preserved, as well as the iconic artwork in the interior, and West Quad's characteristic courtyards have been refurbished.
With the creation of a more efficient neighborhood dining center in nearby South Quad, the dining and kitchen areas in West Quad have been repurposed for much-needed community and study spaces for student living and learning activities. Among the features of the renovation:
- 24-hour study space/multi-purpose room
- Community Center relocated for a closer connection to campus and to the Michigan Union
- Offices for the Michigan Community Scholars Program, a civic engagement and social justice learning community making its home for the first time in West Quad
- The Connector, a new cultural space where students can study, meet, take part in programs or just travel easily from West Quad to South Quad
- Energy efficient features that exceed code requirements by 30 percent
"Because of its campus location and its adjacency to the Michigan Union, West Quad has been a fundamental part of Michigan student life for almost a century. This renovation will preserve its vitality and iconic experience for many more generations of students," said Loren Rullman, associate vice president for Student Life. "I am particularly pleased that spaces for learning, collaboration and socialization have also been enhanced."
The project was designed by Integrated Design Solutions LLC, based in Troy, Mich. and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, based in Norfolk, VA. The builder was Detroit-based Walbridge. The final project cost is $112 million, $2.5 million below the estimated cost of $114.5 million.
The West Quad renovation is part of the Residential Life Initiatives, 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. Financing of the multi-year capital program is funded through student room and board revenue and investment proceeds.