One of the ugliest buildings on campus, often said to resemble a
juvenile detention center, is closing its gates for good. While
some have shown concern for the demolition, the proposal to tear
down the Frieze Building in order to build a new residence hall is
being met with much enthusiasm from the University community.
University President Mary Sue Coleman announced yesterday a
proposal to begin in 2006 the construction of a new hall on the
Frieze site that combines classroom facilities with residential
suites geared toward upperclassmen. The University intends to
create a structure that integrates residential life and
Residence Hall Association President Amy Keller called the new
plan a “step in the right direction.” The RHA played a
hand in the development of the proposal by providing input through
student representatives who serve on the Residential Life
She said she would like to see “a building that will
attract not only the students living in the building, but also
students in other residence halls and off campus.”
University Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann Arbor) also praised the
attempts being made by the University to provide students with
facilities in a centralized location.
“What President Coleman has done, I think, is come up with
a comprehensive solution, and she’s been able to work them
into a single project at an incredibly desirable spot on
campus,” she said.
Students expressed great relief over the proposed demolition of
the Frieze Building. “It’s kind of an ugly building and
it’s obvious that it needs renovation,” LSA freshman
Jenny Lohner said.
“I think it’s great. I hate this building. I wish
they did it sooner,” LSA junior Rachel Schloss said.
The idea of creating apartment-style housing piqued interest
among upperclassmen due to the new hall’s proximity to
campus. “I think it’s cool. I think more people will be
inclined to stay (in the residence halls) because of that,”
Faculty in the Frieze Building are thrilled at the prospect of a
new facility, but expressed some concern with regard to the
displacement of academic departments located in the building during
the two years of construction. Units such as the Asian Language and
Cultures, Communication Studies and the Center for Judaic Studies
are unaware of their fate. The Provost’s Office is currently
working to create plans for temporary relocation.
Faculty in the Theatre and Drama Department, who are set to move
to Walgreen Drama Center and the Arthur Miller Theater on North
Campus once construction begins, are confused about their move.
Eric Fredricksen, chair of the Theatre and Drama Department, said
the department was told by the Walgreen Drama Center planning
committee that the facility would not be ready until 2007 at the
earliest, while the administration is planning to move them in 2006
once construction starts.
The University said the theater will be ready by the time the
demolition of Frieze begins.
But students who attend classes in the Frieze Building praised
the administration’s decision to tear down the building, even
though many acknowledged that they would not reap the benefits of
the planned construction.
“Even if I’m not going to be around, its good to see
something being done,” LSA freshman Kenata Martins said.