College officials began discussing plans for a new women's residence in 1939, when C. William Palmer presented plans for a building housing women's living space and a health service to be constructed immediately north of Keeler Union in the location of present-day Ronan Hall. However, officials eventually decided to construct the building at a different location, south of what was then Ronan Hall, east of Franklin Street. Construction was performed by the Miller-Davis Company of Kalamazoo, who laid the cornerstone of the building in January 1941. With a final cost of $290,000, the new residence hall opened in October 1941 and had an initial capacity of 148 students. When it opened, Sloan Hall was the third residence hall built on the campus of CMU. It was the last residence hall to be built for seven years, until Barnard Hall opened for residency. As part of the Barnard project, a food commons was constructed that was eventually connected to Sloan Hall.
Sloan Hall was built as a combination residence hall and health services unit. The first floor was split into north and south wings. The north wing contained a lounge and assorted recreation rooms, as well as the residence of the house mother. The south wing housed the College's health services, which included a pharmacy and beds for twenty patients. It was staffed by three nurses and a part-time doctor. The second and third floors were living quarters for 148 women students at two women per room. However, the overcrowding was an issue and resulted in three women living in each room. Room rates were $3 per week. Toward the end of World War II, the building housed four people per room due to overcrowding from the presence of Naval cadets in the other women's residence hall, Ronan Hall. In addition, the basement was often used for Student Senate meetings.
In 1963, the building was redesignated as the Sloan Panhellenic House, which housed eight sororities. This was 20 years after the end of a longtime ban on fraternities and sororities at Central. In 1970, the building was converted to offices, and now houses the Psychology Department, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Economics.
Sloan Hall was named for Lucy A. Sloan. For several years after her graduation form Hillsdale College, Sloan taught in Kentucky at Berea College. Later, she was an instructor in the Lansing city schools until 1897, when she resigned her position there and accepted the position of Preceptress of Central State Normal. As the school grew, her duties were mainly concentrated in the role of English Department Head. Miss Sloan was widely acclaimed as an outstanding teacher, speaker, and textbook author. She also helped found the school's first literary society for women in 1912. Miss Sloan died in October of 1918. Her obituary, which ran in the October 31 edition of the
Mt. Pleasant Times included the following tribute: "Miss Sloan was always a welcome guest at any social gathering. Her sense of humor, her ability as a storyteller, her kindliness of manner made her the best of companions. She was heart and soul in the suffrage movement and gave her time and talent freely in its cause."