Design Completed, New University Center Next

Construction to begin in May and estimated to be complete in December 2014

by Published: Mar 20, 2013

Rankin Student Center: Schematic Design Graphics (right) from the new University Center project, showing the same location.  Photo Courtesy of Neumann/Smith Architecture

Rankin Student Center: Schematic Design Graphics (right) from the new University Center project, show­ing the same loca­tion. Photo Courtesy of Neumann/Smith Architecture

The plan­ning process for the Rankin Center ren­o­va­tion has been a long and con­tin­u­ous jour­ney; how­ever, a design and exe­cu­tion plan is in place.

While there was care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion about what would be included inside the new University Center as well as the design of the build­ing, many stu­dents’ opin­ions were wel­comed and included in the set plan.

According to Michael Hughes, asso­ciate vice pres­i­dent for the phys­i­cal plant, the ren­o­va­tion to the Rankin Center, which will pro­duce the new University Center, is sched­uled to begin this May.

“While the entire build­ing is not planned to be torn down, approx­i­mately 80 per­cent of the exte­rior build­ing enve­lope will be new,” Hughes said. “Additionally, the inte­rior of the build­ing will be gut­ted to the struc­ture and rebuilt. The Dome Room will be com­pletely demol­ished to make way for a new multi-event space.”

In 2011, the vision­ing task force for the new University Center col­lected input from stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff about what they wanted to see incor­po­rated into the plan. By November 2012, the final design draft was in the works.

Once the design draft was final­ized and approved, it was made avail­able online for pub­lic view­ing. Students in facil­ity man­age­ment exam­ined the design plan and cre­ated their own opin­ions about the up and com­ing University Center.

Andrew MacIver, Ferris senior in facil­ity man­age­ment, served on a com­mit­tee which con­tributed to the design plan­ning process.

“What we wanted to do was make this our flag­ship and recruit­ing build­ing, some­thing that was really in your face and shows stu­dents that this is what we are on cam­pus,” MacIver said. “What we were try­ing to do for the most part is make a build­ing that is dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers and really stands out; it is different.”

According to Hughes, the main pur­poses of the new University Center are described as serv­ing as a recruit­ment tool and gath­er­ing space for stu­dents and com­muters as well as pro­vide a place to fos­ter and encour­age stu­dent lead­er­ship and interaction.

Jace Heneveld, Ferris junior in facil­ity man­age­ment, felt that the design plan will be effec­tive in meet­ing the goals set for the University Center.

“I think it is going to really give a face lift for Ferris in gen­eral. I don’t know when the lat­est new build­ing for the whole stu­dent envi­ron­ment has been, so I think that it’s really some­thing that Ferris needs to do for the stu­dents,” Heneveld said. “I also think it’ll make events and shar­ing infor­ma­tion bet­ter with all of the event stuff in a build­ing that peo­ple want to go in.”

The project, with a bud­get of $33.9 mil­lion, is sched­uled to be com­plete by December 2014 and will reopen to the pub­lic in January 2015.

For more infor­ma­tion, updates or to view the design plan for the new University Center, visit fer​ris​.edu/​H​T​M​L​S​/​a​d​m​i​n​i​s​t​r​a​t​i​o​n​/​a​d​m​i​n​a​n​d​f​i​n​a​n​c​e​/​p​h​y​s​i​c​a​l​/​r​e​n​o​v​a​t​i​o​n​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​h​tml.