Opened Fall 1970
Cost: $1.65 million
The 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.
Wheeler 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.
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.