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Celani Hall


Opened: 2006
Cost: $30 Million (two-building complex)
Capacity: 454 (two-building complex)

In September 2004, CMU's Board of Trustees approved plans to construct two new residence halls near the existing Woldt and Emmons Halls north of Broomfield Road. Architectural designs were completed by Design Plus of Grand Rapids in January 2005. The buildings were designed with help from a feedback focus group of residents from the recently constructed Towers complex, which made suggestions like moving the lounge, kitchen, and laundry facilities on each floor to the end of the floor rather than leaving them in the center. Living quarters were also redesigned and enlarged to better suit the needs of students. Besides these minor modifications, the designs closely resembled those used for the additions to the Towers residence complex in the early 2000s.

Rockford Construction Company of Belmont was awarded the contract for the $30 million, 181,981 square foot project. Construction officially began with a groundbreaking ceremony in March 2005. Construction proceeded apace but required temporary accommodations, including the relocation of Woldt Computer Lab to Kulhavi Hall. Improvements to the median dividing Broomfield Road were made in conjunction with the construction of the new buildings as part of the Broomfield Road Enhancement Project. Finally, a 22-foot sculpture designed and built by a former art professor was removed from its location outside of Woldt Hall. Although a new location was sought, the deteriorating condition of the sculpture made restoration and relocation impractical.

The project consisted of two new high-rise dormitory buildings that would house up to 454 students. Each floor consisted of twelve 4-bedroom suites and had a kitchen and laundry facilities with three washers and three dryers each. The complex also contained two new classrooms and an enlarged and improved convenience store. A new fitness center near the lobby of Herrig Hall was twice the size of the facility in the Towers complex, offering 36 workout units to students seven days a week. Plans also called for the complete remodel of Woldt Residential Restaurant, which would serve residents from the old quad as well as those from the new buildings. Finally, the project included a $650,000 landscaping project which was started as the final stages of building construction were underway and included the excavation of a large pond between the two new halls and in front of the dining commons. 140 feet long and between 20 and 40 feet wide, the pond could be frozen in the winter to provide a surface for ice skating.

In December 2005, the University announced that the new tower closest to Broomfield Road would be renamed the Ben and Marion Celani Residence Hall after Tom and Vicki Celani donated $1 million to the University and decided to name the hall after Tom's parents. Similarly, the north building was officially named the Fabiano Family Residence Hall and dedicated to the family of alumnus and former Trustee James C. Fabiano (served 1999-2005) and his wife, Lee.

By August 2006, construction was nearing completion. That month, staff, faculty, and benefactors gathered in the lobby of the new complex to celebrate the Fabiano and Celani families, and President Rao gave a speech commemorating the opening of the new structures. By the end of the month, the computer lab had been returned to its original location in Woldt Hall and students began moving into Fabiano and Celani. These remained the newest residence halls on campus until the construction of the CMED graduate student housing in 2013.