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George R. Wheeler Residence Hall

Opened Fall 1970
Cost: $1.65 million
Capacity: 416

TowersThe George R. Wheeler Residence Hall is part of the Towers complex on the southeast end of campus, which houses more than 1400 students. It was designed by Roger Allen and Associates of Grand Rapids, who built most of Central Michigan University's buildings. It was the first building in the complex to open.

The Towers were partially based on student-designed blueprints. They were originally planned as a six-story complex on the north end of campus, where Northwest Apartments is now located. The site had to be changed, however, when engineers discovered that the ground would not be stable enough to support the massive structures. Since shoring up the ground would have increased an already soaring budget, the University decided to build the complex on the other end of campus on newly-annexed land on Broomfield Road.

The new plans called for two seven-story and two nine-story buildings. Problems with Union Township delayed construction. The Township refused to extend sewer and water services in early 1968, which halted construction until the problems could be worked out.

WheelerWheeler Hall opened in 1970 as a men's residence hall. It was co-ed from 1974 to 1975, then women in 1975. It is currently co-ed, as are all of the Towers.

The hall was named for the head of the Department of Conservation and Agriculture from 1947 to 1960. Wheeler was born on June 28, 1891 in Isabella County. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1914 from the Michigan Agriculture College, and came to Central that same year. He taught at Central for 38 years.

In addition to teaching, Wheeler kept busy with a variety of personal and civic activities. He received his Master of Arts in 1930 from the Teacher's College of Columbia University. He was the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Isabella County State Bank, director of the Central Michigan Community Hospital, and Lieutenant Governor of the state Kiwanis Club. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Eastern Michigan University in 1968. That same year, he was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year. He also received the 50th Anniversary Medal from Richard Nixon for his contributions to Michigan agriculture.

His wife Elizabeth taught at Central from 1957 to 1970. They had two sons. Wheeler died on August 11, 1968.