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Center for Integrated Health Studies under construction

University builds toward future

With spring in the air, summer construction projects are on the way

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston


​The sounds of spring on Central Michigan University's campus soon will include choruses of construction workers and heavy equipment.

Work on projects spanning the summer begins in earnest after final exams and commencement in early May. The biggies? Decommissioning and razing Barnes Hall, preliminary work on the Chippewa Champions Alumni Center, and the home stretch of construction on the Center for Integrated Health Studies.

"We're doing our part to keep CMU looking great." — Jonathan Webb, CMU associate vice president for facilities management

Other notable work includes re-roofing Park Library, Rose Center and Ryan Hall; upgrading the North residential community of Calkins, Larzelere, Robinson and Trout halls; replacing wood floors in the Student Activity Center; and continuing to upgrade campus lighting, sidewalks and signage.

Except for work on Barnes, the Champions Center and the CIHS, projects should wrap up by Aug. 9, before students return for fall semester. You can keep up on all of the projects at Big Thinking, Big Progress.

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Work continues on the Center for Integrated Health Studies, opening for classes in January 2020. See a photo gallery on Facebook.

Center for Integrated Health Studies

CMU broke ground in March 2018 for the two-story, 50,000-square-foot, $26 million CIHS. The building adjoins the Health Professions Building and College of Medicine Building along Preston Street east of Finch Fieldhouse.

"We look forward to the additional space," said Tom Masterson, dean of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. "It will allow us to be more interactive across disciplines, which will ultimately lead to improved health care in Michigan and beyond."

Jonathan Webb, CMU associate vice president for facilities management, said work continues on schedule, with the now-enclosed building about 40 percent complete and its interior abuzz with construction activity.

The center will allow expansion of CMU's physical therapy and physician assistant programs. It will include an Interprofessional Education Center with a two-room simulation suite equipped with high-tech clinical mannequins, eight patient rooms for role-playing medical scenarios, and all rooms monitored for observation and feedback.

The building's first classes are scheduled for spring semester 2020, after a November move-in.

It will open as the first all-new educational facility on campus since the Biosciences Building in 2017.

Bidding Barnes goodbye

Barnes Hall, the only remaining residence hall on campus with community bathrooms, is being razed as part of ongoing residence life improvements.

"Some older facilities age better than others," Webb observed. "It's simply time to retire this hall," he said.

Before the first bricks tumble, alumni with memories of Barnes will have a last chance to visit and reminisce. Saturday, April 20, kicks off an "alumni week" open house offering tours of the hall's common areas.

Contractors also will set aside a number of bricks for future use by the CMU Alumni Association. 

Kathleen Gardner, director of residence life, knows decommissioning a residence hall always tugs heartstrings.

"Barnes Hall has been a great home to thousands of students," she said. "There are strong ties to a building where lifelong friendships were formed and memories were made."

Once Barnes' last-ever residents move out after exams, the hall will be emptied and the site fenced off for mechanical demolition. The project also includes some work on Powers Hall, which is connected to Barnes.

By fall, a green space and a commemorative sign will mark the space where Barnes stood.

Chippewa Champions Alumni Center

The new center at the north end of Kelly/Shorts Stadium will house football operations, a weight room and locker rooms. It also will provide student training opportunities with sports medicine, strength and conditioning labs; a nutrition and fueling station; and a hydrotherapy center.

Work this summer will begin with demolition of the existing north end zone facility. Site preparation and structural steel installation will follow.

A lengthy "to do" list

Below are more summer 2019 construction highlights. CMU's Big Thinking, Big Progress website has details and updates on all ongoing summer projects.

More residence life improvements — In addition to razing Barnes, this year's scheduled residence life upgrades will modernize the North community inside and out, including improvements to safety and electrical systems. The quad will be off-limits all summer as a construction zone, although sidewalks around it will be open. Additional work:

  • Adding interior access controls and improving sidewalks, pavement, exterior lighting and mechanical systems in the South community (Beddow, Merrill, Sweeney and Thorpe halls).
  • Improving exterior lighting in the East community (Celani, Emmons, Fabiano, Herrig, Saxe and Woldt halls) and ventilation at Saxe and Woldt.

Roofs and drainage — Park Library, Rose Center and Ryan Hall get new roofs this summer, and drainage repair to the Dow Science Complex aims to solve recurring flooding problems. Other roof maintenance and repairs will take place as needed campuswide.

Classrooms and study areas — Park Library will add a third-floor Group Study area, and crews will remodel and upgrade a number of classrooms around campus, including Dow 205; Grawn Hall 212, 213, 301 and 342; Health Professions 1259, 1251 and 1252; Moore Hall 133, 221F, 221G and 231; and Pearce Hall 323 and 324A.

Masonry maintenance — Warriner Hall masonry restoration work that began last year will continue, along with masonry repairs to the Graduate Housing Complex, Rose Center exterior wall and Wightman Hall.

Center of work zones — Construction areas within the Bovee University Center will include the CMU Bookstore, loading dock, fountain and Down Under Food Court. Repairs to sewer infrastructure under the food court could cause isolated water outages in May.

Utility shutdowns — Scheduled annual maintenance will leave parts of campus without steam, hot water and electricity May 10-12 and Aug. 3-4. Details of the May shutdowns are online, and reminders will appear in the Our CMU e-newsletter.

Lighting, signs and pathways — CMU upgrades outdoor lighting every year. This year's projects include the east side of Northwest Apartments and the connector to Bellows Street, the south end of Lot 22, and outside the East community.

Work also continues on "wayfinding" signage that identifies buildings and directs motorists and pedestrians. It's part of CMU's multiyear Campus Identity Plan.

And sidewalks and landscaping alongside Park Library will get upgrades as part of a focus on the Central Avenue cross-campus thoroughfare for walkers and bikers.

"We're doing our part to keep CMU looking great," Webb said.


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