Some places around campus will look different when many students return to campus for the fall semester.
Over the summer months, facilities has worked on multiple projects to prioritize student success, sustainability and attracting new students per Associate Vice-President of Facilities Management Peter Strazdas.
Howard Strip Mall
At the edge of campus on West Michigan and Howard St., the strip mall was demolished. In the past the strip mall was home to popular eatery Campus Wok.
The goal is to give the campus more free space. The landscape team plans to have grass grown in that spot instead.
“We would like to have it as a green space for one of our entries,” Strazdas said.
The land is owned by WMU and demolishing the property was more cost efficient.
“The facility itself was aging, and a lot of money and maintenance was needed to renew and upgrade the facility,” Strazdas said.
New Student Center
The new student center is under construction across from Sangren Hall. The exterior is expected to be completed this year and the interior by next summer. The facility will be open to the campus community in Fall 2022.
“Things (will) transition from the Bernhard to the New Student Center,” Strazdas said. “In the next few months to a year after that the asbestos will be taken out of the Bernhard Center and we will begin to raze that.”
Gates are currently around the sidewalks in front of Rood Hall and on the side of the Lee Honors College. These gates are there for the improvements that are being made to the sidewalks in that area.
Student Recreation Center
The landscape team is currently working to improve the sidewalks and paths near the SRC. The university was given feedback from parents of current and future WMU students regarding the sidewalks and they are being repaved.
“The feedback from campus tours was that the green space and flowers looked great but the sidewalks were uneven, broken up and quite frankly, they’re very old,” Strazdas said.
Sindecuse Health Center
Sindecuse’s sidewalks are also being repaved to help the image of the campus.
Dunbar Hall, located in the middle of main campus, is being completely renovated. This hall will be closed to students for the upcoming semester. The facilities team is planning to keep the foundation but change the interior.
In addition, 9,817sq ft will be added to the building in pursuit of a modernized look. Renovations will be complete in fall 2023.
The roof is being replaced on Hadley Hall this summer. There will be minor interruptions while the project and construction team modifies the roof. These changes will not cause a big disruption to campus.
“The roof was at the end of its life expectancy and beyond maintenance,” Strazdas said. “We maintain things up to a point that you have to redo it or change it.”
French/Davis/Zimmerman Hall - ‘Little 3’
While the demolition has already begun on Davis hall, the entire Little 3 complex will be demolished by the end of September. The fence surrounding the buildings are projected to be there another month. The plans for what the Little 3 may be replaced with are still in the works.
“I’m hopeful the administration will provide some information on what could be going there in the future,” Strazdas said. “The whole campus will have due notice on what would happen there in the future.”
Facilities management took feedback from parents of current and future students to make certain changes on campus.
“When their sons or daughters come to campus in fall I expect everything to be cleared up,” Strazdas said.