- Sam Gringlas and Carolyn Gearig/Daily
By Claire Bryan, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 15, 2014
At their first meeting of the academic year this Thursday, the University’s Board of Regents is expected to vote on more than $180 million in capital projects related to varsity and intramural athletics.
The board will consider the construction of a $168 million South Campus athletic facility and a $18.7 million renovation of the University’s Intramural Sports Building.
Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus project begins
Pending approval by the regents, the University will construct a 310,000 square-foot space to serve student-athletes involved with the Michigan men and women’s track and field, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, tennis, gymnastics and women’s rowing teams.
The facility will include an outdoor track venue fit for 2,000 spectators and an indoor track facility that can accommodate 1,000 fans. An outdoor lacrosse stadium planned for the site is expected to house 3,000 spectators.
The facility will include shared performance space, locker rooms, strength and conditioning facilities, meeting space and sports medicine facilities. When completed, the space is expected to host national, regional and local competitions but will be also be available for recreational use.
The project is largely funded through a $100 million gift from real estate tycoon Stephen Ross, a University alum, along with Athletic Department Resources.
Last fall, Ross donated $200 million to the University’s Athletic Department and the Ross School of Business, giving each unit $100 million. Ross was made the business school’s namesake in 2004 when he donated his first $100 million to help renovate the school’s facilities.
The recent $200 million gift is the largest single donation to the University to date, and at their October 2013 meeting, the regents voted to name the athletic campus in Ross’ honor as well.
In a communication to the regents, University Athletic Director Dave Brandon and Douglas Strong, interim executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the facility will serve two-thirds of the University’s student-athletes.
TMP Architecture will begin designing the project immediately, but a construction schedule will not be completed until schematic designs are presented to the board.
IM Building to undergo renovations
Thursday, the regents will vote on $18.7 million worth of improvements to the 106,000 square-foot Intramural Sports Building. Originally constructed in 1928, it was the first building across higher education institutions to be devoted primarily to intramural sports.
The project will reconfigure the existing space to create a larger cardio workout area, new group exercise rooms, locker rooms, improved racquetball courts and staff offices. The renovation will also improve accessibility and include mechanical, electrical and plumbing work; lighting improvement and gymnasium floor replacement work for the aging building.
Investment proceeds and the Student Life Student Fee for Facility Renewal will fund the initiative.
In April 2013, the regents, with support from Central Student Government and LSA Student Government, voted to administer a $65 per-term student fee to fund the renovation of campus unions and recreational sports facilities. The Student Life Student Fee for Facility Renewal includes renovations to the Michigan Union, Pierpont Commons, the North Campus Recreation Building and the Central Campus Recreation Building.
Integrated Design Solutions and RDG Planning and Design will head the design of this project, which is expected to begin upon approval of the regents.