Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University to Build $45M Student Housing Project, Add Student Center


Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo today announced it has selected Stantec Architecture in Berkley to design a new student housing development in the South Neighborhood of campus. The project is slated to cost $45 million and be open by August 2020.

To be located along Stadium Drive, the project will provide living-learning environments for national and international students. The design work has just begun.

In announcing the project, WMU officials pointed to changing demographics on campus that include strong international enrollment and a growing number of students from other states. Leaders also noted that future housing needs are a critical component of addressing changes to the student body’s evolving housing preferences.

Future plans for the South Neighborhood include other mixed-use facilities besides student housing.

Work currently planned for the South Neighborhood include:

  • Development of a sub-campus master plan, to be completed in October.
  • Construction of a new student center to open in 2021.
  • Demolition of Elmwood Apartments this month.
  • Construction of the new student housing in the Elmwood footprint, with groundbreaking set for spring 2019.

“We’re just getting started with planning for the student center,” says Diane Anderson, WMU’s vice president for student affairs. “We want to get students’ best thoughts and ideas on what that facility will be like and how it can meet the needs of current and future students.”

The university, founded in 1903, attracts students from every state and 100 other nations (40 percent of the student body is from metro Detroit).

“We have a lot of potential to grow where we have strong programs, including business, engineering, aviation, medicine, and arts and sciences,” says Edward Montgomery, president of WMU. “The auto industry is growing in many different ways, and with future mobility that includes aviation, those two sectors are coming together.”

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