Eastern Michigan University breaks ground on $200M student housing project

‘Welcome Home 2025′ to be completed in 3 years

Pictured (from left): EMU President James Smith, Board of Regents Chair Eunice Jeffries, Regent Dennis Beagen, Regent Dr. Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, Regent Nathan K. Ford. (Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University officials broke ground on Thursday on a new $200 million project to transform student housing on its campus.

Titled “Welcome Home 2025,″ the three-year project will see the construction of two brand-new student housing facilities. Lakeview Apartments and Westview Apartments will feature apartment-style living and will bring an additional 700 beds to campus.

Lakeview Apartments will overlook University Park’s pond and will be adjacent to the EMU Student Center while Westview Apartments will be located between the main and west side of campus. Their construction will “transform the campus landscape,” according to a media release.

In addition to the new buildings, the project includes renovations to all residence halls on campus, which will include new bathrooms, new air conditioning and updated technology.

The following older residence halls will be demolished as part of the project: Best, Brown Munson, Buell, Hill, Hoyt, Pittman and the old Westview Apartments.

“Our students deserve the best, and Welcome Home 2025 will deliver the best,” Eastern Michigan University President James Smith said in a statement. “This initiative, which is the result of tremendous work, commitment, and feedback from our University community, ensures access to quality, affordable housing that meets the needs of today’s students. This is a critical milestone for the University and the quality of our students’ experience, and I cannot wait to see how these new spaces will foster student growth and success for years to come.”

A rendering of new student housing facilities coming to EMU's campus. (Eastern Michigan University)

To see renderings of the Welcome Home 2025 plan, click here.

“Students are very excited to see this investment in student life and our on-campus experience, and we’re proud of the role that EMU students played in getting this project off the ground,” Student Body President Auryon Azar said in a release. “Walking by the construction site is a reminder of what is possible when we advocate for ourselves and work with leaders in our community: we drive progress for everyone.”

The developer on the project is Gilbane Development Company and the design-builders include Gilbane Building Company, AVB, Inc. and Clark Construction.

According to a release, financing will be coordinated by Gilbane through tax-exempt bonds as part of a Public-Private Partnership.

“This is a first-of-its-kind, truly holistic campus modernization project,” president and chief executive officer of Gilbane Development Company Edward Broderick said in a statement. “Through this exciting and productive partnership, we will execute new builds, demolition, and renovation work simultaneously – an extraordinary undertaking that allows EMU to reimagine the university experience for students for many years to come.

“At Gilbane, we have built a strong record of success across sectors over our 150-year history, but it is these kinds of meaningful social infrastructure projects where our experience and commitment to community-run deepest.”

For more information on the project, visit welcomehome2025.com.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.