New Multipurpose Events Center Coming to CMU

MOUNT PLEASANT – The CMU Events Center will redefine the campus experience at Central Michigan University.

A multipurpose facility with the ability to seamlessly host events as varied as commencement, concerts and athletics events, the CMU Events Center will be an invaluable addition to CMU, Mount Pleasant and the entire mid-Michigan region.

Construction on the exterior of the facility is set to begin in late September after the project was given final approval July 16 by CMU’s Board of Trustees.

The construction plan includes a complete renovation of the interior of the current arena at Rose Center, the construction of a lobby entrance on the east side of the building, the addition of practice facilities for basketball and wrestling and a substantial expansion of the Student Activity Center’s fitness center.

A number of key changes and enhancements that will improve the building’s functionality and versatility, helping the entire university community better utilize the resources within the complex, are included in the project.

Significant changes are being made within the current arena to enhance the overall event experience for visitors, including: improved seating, ADA compliant seating, air conditioning, enhanced lighting, improved sound system, permanent concessions, increased number of restrooms, family restrooms and event production and support areas.

“This is a very exciting time in the history of Chippewa Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “From an athletic standpoint, we will now have a competition facility that provides the amenities that fans expect when attending a major college sporting event. The environment will be absolutely fantastic for both fans and competitors alike.

“The new events center will not only serve the needs of athletic teams but will enhance the entire campus community, providing the necessary flexibility to host a multitude of events that will add to the overall campus experience here at CMU,” he added. “Students, faculty, staff and the entire mid-Michigan region will benefit from this exciting transformation of the existing arena.”

The new additions will include areas that will allow for greater flexibility and usability of space. The new practice court will open the arena to be used more often by community groups and campus organizations for events, concerts and other activities. The new 4,000-square-foot lobby area provides a much needed and highly visible entry point to the facility, but it will also serve as an area that can host campus banquets and events.

The target completion date for the entire project is October 2010. The only regular season schedule expected to be affected by the project is the 2010 volleyball season.

Total cost for the project is $21 million, of which $6.5 million already has been raised. Fundraising will continue through construction of the project.

Kathy Wilbur — Interim University President
“The new events center will position CMU and Mount Pleasant as a premier destination for educational opportunities, entertainment and athletic competitions. The facility will provide our visitors a comfortable environment to enjoy commencement and other special events, and increase the academic and cultural environment for CMU students and the surrounding community.”

Bob Ebner — Director, University Events
“The architecture group has done a beautiful job in creating what I think will be a really neat facility. The design of the building is wonderful. The big thing from my viewpoint is the addition of the practice facility, which will free up the arena for other events and help enhance the value of the facility for both athletics and our department. Another of the many advantages of having the new events center is the increased comfort and greater overall experience visitors to the building will have.”

Stan Shingles — Director, University Recreation
“The events center will allow students an outstanding venue that will enhance the quality of student life here at CMU. The facility will serve students’ needs for generations to come and will be a catalyst for tremendous activities that will connect students to the total out-of-classroom experience available to them at CMU.”

Shaun Holtgreive — Associate Director, Residence Life
“This facility will be a tremendous upgrade for our campus. Rose Center and the area surrounding it is a window to campus, and it is the first impression of campus for a lot of our visitors. This renovation will produce a really inviting facility that will be welcoming to visitors and beneficial to all areas of campus.”

Steve Thompson — Faculty Member, Physical Education and Sport Department
“This project will expand our abilities to offer quality courses to students, and the finished facility will be appealing to prospective students. The increase in the size of the fitness room will expand the opportunities our department has to educate students on fitness issues.”

Jason Nichol — President, CMU Student Government Association
“From a student perspective we are very excited about this project. This is a unique opportunity to enhance not only the athletics facilities, but also to increase the variety and number of cultural events that we bring to campus. This new facility will add another dimension to CMU.”


Inside the renovated arena.
An aerial view of the completed facility.
The exterior of the facility from the southeast.
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