A Sept. 24 groundbreaking for a student housing complex will take the
University of Michigan Dearborn
, largely a commuter school, into the direction of creating a campus residential community.
The $30-million The Union at Dearborn, a project of Bloomfield Hills based developer Urban Campus Communities, will convert a closed Ford Motor Co. diagnostic center into 231,791 square feet of space for 500-plus students and other campus amenities.
Inside the buildings, which are located across Evergreen Road from the U-M Dearborn campus at 760 and 780 Town Center Drive, will be space for student life activities, meeting rooms, student study areas offices and a cabaret style theater.
Construction is expected to be completed in time for the fall 2013 school year. School and city officials see it as a major academic and economic opportunity for Dearborn.
The Union at Dearborn also will bring a newly revived, 24/7 presence to the community, with economic growth expected for the surrounding businesses.
“This is such an exciting development for the City of Dearborn,” Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. says in a statement announcing the groundbreaking. “We are thrilled that UM-Dearborn students soon will be able to call Dearborn home throughout the year and we look forward to welcoming them to our community.”
U-M Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little says students have asked about campus housing for many years.
“With the reduction of state funding and our commitment to minimizing tuition increases, this public-private collaboration will allow the university to continue to invest in its academic mission, while transforming the campus experience for all students. The Union at Dearborn also will provide greater access for students wishing to pursue a Michigan degree in southeastern Michigan,” Little says.
Source: Beth Marmarelli, associate director, communications & marketing, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Writer: Kim North Shine