The face of Oakland University will change dramatically over the next few years, spurred on by numerous student-centered construction projects approved by the Board of Trustees.
The projects, all slated for a fall 2014 completion, include construction of a 1,240-space parking structure, a new recreation and athletic complex, a nearly $30 million student housing complex and a new headquarters for facility and grounds maintenance operations.
These initiatives are among the student body’s most-desired projects, according to Benjamin Eveslage, student liaison to the board.
“The housing, parking, and upper play fields proposals are altogether a well-coordinated plan that addresses the largest student concerns, some of which have been building-up over the past several years,” Eveslage said. “These improvements will greatly contribute to student life, the growth of our university, and the value every graduate holds in their diploma. I am glad to be a student at OU, at a point where OU is changing its game and improving in so many new ways.”
All told, these construction projects will significantly transform Oakland’s 1,443-acre campus in Rochester.
“We believe that what southeastern Michigan and the state as a whole need most now is renewed investment in the resources that will enable us to thrive in the 21st century,” said Oakland University President Gary Russi. “Our most valuable resources are the young people who will soon assume leadership of our collective future. We believe the investment we’re making today will inspire them to work toward great successes that will undoubtedly be of tremendous benefit to all of us in years to come.”
Last fall saw the completion of Oakland’s nearly 172,825-square-foot Human Health Building, followed by the groundbreaking for a 127,000-square-foot Engineering Center and the recent approval of plans for a 151-foor carillon tower.
Approved in concept by the Board of Trustees last December, the new student housing complex will welcome more than 500 resident students. It will also incorporate The Honors College and classrooms, a small cafe, and space for student meetings and private and group studying.
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“With these projects, the board is tackling some of students’ biggest concerns, and it is wonderful to know that they are enhancing the OU experience,” said Samantha Wolf, president of Oakland University Student Congress.
The new outdoor recreational and athletic facilities will accommodate NCAA Division I athletic events including tennis, and track and field meets; club and intramural sports competitions, and a variety of fitness and recreational activities welcoming university students, faculty, staff and community visitors.
Oakland’s second parking structure will include four levels and provide a net gain of 930 spaces near seven academic buildings.