The University Insider is The Daily’s first faculty and staff-oriented newsletter. This weekly newsletter will give U-M faculty and staff the ability to see the most important issues on campus and in Ann Arbor — particularly those related to administrative decisions — from the perspective of an independent news organization. It will also provide a better understanding of student perspectives.
University of Michigan President Santa Ono announced the University’s plan to build a new residence and dining hall targeted at serving first-year students on Central Campus at the Board of Regents meeting Thursday. The new residence hall will be built on the site of Elbel Field and is planned to have the capacity to house 2,300 students.
Ono cited a stagnant supply of housing for undergraduate students amidst growing enrollment as the reason for the new development.
“We want to make sure all first-year students who want to live on Central Campus are able to live there,” Ono said. “Since 2004, undergraduate enrollment has increased by more than 8,000 students, yet on-campus housing has simply not kept pace.”
The regents unanimously voted to approve a $6.5 million initial planning contract with Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
The Michigan Marching Band, which currently practices on Elbel Field, will be relocated one block north to a 6.1-acre property on South Fifth Avenue, according to a press release from the University, which purchased the land on South Fifth from Fingerle Lumber in 2018.
“The prospect of a new marching band practice field that continues to honor the Louis Elbel name, while creating a practice facility that moves the band into the future, is exciting to John D. Pasquale, who has directed the 400-member Michigan Marching Band since 2013,” the release read.
Martino Harmon, vice president for student life, said at the meeting he believes the new residence hall will improve the undergraduate experience.
“Demand among students for affordable, on-campus housing on or near Central Campus continues to rise,” Harmon said. “The first step of this multi-phase housing project will help us meet the needs for the growing student body and ensure excellence in the overall undergraduate experience.”
Daily News Editor Irena Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.