Renovation of student center among projects

Detroit Mercy has some projects planned for the upcoming summer.

Construction is already underway on new conference rooms next to the second-floor ballroom in the Student Center.

The renovations will provide three new rooms for meetings, breakout sessions and events.

In addition, some showers in Shiple Hall will be renovated this summer, and East Quad and some classrooms in Briggs are getting a fresh coat of paint, according to Tammy Batcheller, associate vice president of facilities management and campus services.

Long-term projects include renovation of the lower-level and first floor of the Student Center.

For years, campus officials have wanted to make the Student Center more of a “welcome center,” where students can go to find most things that they need, according to Alysa Jackson, director of University Services.

After last year’s fire in the lower level of the center, sections of the building still remain closed, awaiting renovation.

The fire pushed the university to put together ideas to re-create the center.

The plan for the building is to move all of the current first-floor facilities – the bookstore, student life, campus ministry and Titan information offices – to the lower level, and then to move the offices of admissions, financial aid, registrar and student accounting from Fisher Administration Building to the first floor of the Student Center.

The department of public safety will stay in its current spot on the first floor in the southeast corner of the building.

Current renderings of the renovated building also show a dug-out lower level, so students can walk directly into it, but the renderings are not yet official.

“The design is purely conceptual,” said Batcheller. “The design and engineering team has to vet the ideas to see if what we would like to do is realistic from a constructability standpoint.”

Funding for the center’s renovation is expected to be done purely with donations, not tuition dollars, officials said.

There is currently no date or timeframe set for completion of the project.