ANALYSIS: $508 million spent on construction, renovation projects since 2000

Click on the pins to view information on Central Michigan University’s major construction and renovation projects that have been or are on track to be completed since 2000. Map excludes off-campus sites like the College of Medicine’s Saginaw campuses and the Beaver Island Academic Center. (Sources for costs: CMU capital budgets.) (Photos: Central Michigan University, Wikimedia Commons.)

By John Irwin

By the time Grawn Hall’s renovation is complete in 2017, Central Michigan University will have spent more than half a billion dollars on major construction and renovation projects in the 21st Century.

Between the 23 major construction and renovation projects CMU has completed or is slated to complete since 2000, it will end up spending about $508 million, according to university capital budgets.

That money comes from a variety of sources, including state outlays, donations, bonds and university reserve funds. For instance, the $95-million Biosciences Building, currently under construction and the most expensive project in CMU history, will be paid for via $30 million from the state and $65 million or so from CMU. The university has said it aims to pay for its share of the project with a combination of fundraising, bonds and the use of general university funds.

However, some projects, including the new College of Medicine, receive no funding from the state, leaving the university to pick up the whole tab.

That means the university must dip into a general fund that has shrunk over the last two years as its operating budget shows multimillion-dollar deficits. Should CMU keep up its facilities spending and continue its budget woes, that could mean even higher tuition for students that are already paying almost four times what their counterparts in 2000 were.

What CMU has spent on

Source: CMU capital budgets.
Source: CMU capital budgets.

As the chart above demonstrates, the university has invested more than half of its facilities spending into academics. CMU’s four most costly projects since 2000 were/are academic buildings. (See the bottom of the post for a full list.)

Additionally, the university will have spent $68 million on construction projects for the new College of Medicine by the time campuses in Saginaw are completed.

In fact, much of CMU’s facilities spending indicates an enormous investment into medical and biological sciences since the turn of the century. Between the Biosciences Building, the Health Professions Building, the three College of Medicine campuses and a research lab constructed for CMED, the university will have spent $213 million on medical and biological sciences. That’s 42 percent of what the university has spent on construction projects in total. That figure would be considered higher, as well, if it included the $29-million Graduate Student Housing complex, which was constructed in large part to house CMED students.

CMU has spent more than $96 million on residence halls since 2000, including the construction of three new buildings in the Towers complex at a cost of $33 million and two new halls in the East Complex for $30 million. The Towers has also seen its fair share of renovations, including a $3.5 million overhaul in 2003 that included a makeover of the dining hall, followed by another $1.5-million renovation of the dining hall in 2012.

Athletics have also played a large part in CMU’s facilities spending. Between a $21-million Events Center, the $4-million Theunissen Stadium and the planned $8-million lacrosse/soccer facility, $33 million will be spent on athletics buildings since 2000.

Full list of major facilities projects completed since 2000, sorted by cost (completion dates in parentheses):

  • Biosciences Building (Projected 2016): $95.2 million
  • Park Library expansion/renovation (2002): $50 million
  • Health Professions Building (2004): $50 million
  • Education and Human Services Building (2009): $50 million
  • Campbell, Kesseler and Kulhavi halls (2003): $33 million
  • East Complex residence halls (2006): $30 million
  • Graduate Student Housing (2013): $28.5 million
  • Satellite Energy Facility (2007): $27 million
  • CMED East Saginaw Phase I (Projected 2015): $25.2 million
  • College of Medicine (2012): $24 million
  • Events Center (2010): $21 million
  • Anspach Hall renovations (2013): $14.1 million
  • CMED East Saginaw Phase II (Projected 2015): $12 million
  • Grawn Hall expansion/renovation (Projected 2017): $10.8 million
  • Lacrosse/Soccer field (Proj. 2015: $8 million
  • Research Laboratory (CMED/CHP): $7 million
  • Data Center (2013): $5.4 million
  • Bovee UC renovation (2011): $5 million
  • Theunissen Stadium (2002): $4 million
  • Beaver Island Academic Center (2007): $3.8 million
  • Ronan Hall renovation (2011): $3.6 million
  • Towers renovations (2003): $3.5 million
  • Real Food on Campus renovation (2012): $1.5 million
  • Sources: Central Michigan University capital budget documents. Only includes projects that cost more than $1 million.

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