MOUNT PLEASANT Central Michigan University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday confirmed its support for the construction of an events center complex by expansion and renovation of Rose Center and the initiation of fundraising efforts to secure necessary funding.
The $20.3 million project will create a new multipurpose events center on campus that will improve the quality of the experience for visitors to CMU’s campus through significant enhancements in seating, restrooms, concessions, accessibility, service and comfort.
“This will be a signature building on campus and it will allow for greater opportunities for use by the general university population and the greater mid-Michigan community,” Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. “It will be an attractive centerpiece that will welcome guests and showcase what our institution represents.”
The endeavor will be funded completely by private contributions and an aggressive, university-wide fundraising campaign will begin immediately.
“We look forward to our alumni and friends supporting what will be the largest single fundraising project in this university’s history,” Heeke said. “We are confident people will make an investment in the life of this great university and campus.”
CMU already has $1.5 million in pledges and commitments from its previous efforts toward a new events center.
The Rose Center arena currently hosts graduation ceremonies, concerts, speakers, special events and athletic contests. The new facility will provide an enhanced experience for all those activities while keeping an intimate size with seating capacity right around the current 5,200 guests. The new seating configuration will include mostly chairback seats along with some improved bleachers.
“Every seat in the building will be improved,” Heeke said. “The new design increases the size of seats, the number of chairbacks, and also creates a bowl-shaped arena.”
One of the top features of the expansion will be the addition of a practice gymnasium featuring two courts. This auxiliary gym will provide dedicated practice space for CMU athletic teams and will also provide staging space for major events in the arena.
An atrium entrance and lobby will provide a gateway into the facility and a concourse level will offer additional restrooms and concession stands, along with handicapped access. An exhibit gallery is planned that will highlight CMU’s Championship Culture and its relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2009 with project completion targeted for August 2010. CMU’s athletic teams that currently use Rose Center for competition and practice will be displaced while the renovation takes place.
What They Are Saying
Stan Shingles Director, University Recreation
“This event center project will truly enhance the quality of students’ social, recreational and co-curricular experiences here at CMU. The ability to attract popular entertainment and host major events will serve CMU students for years to come.”
James Hornak Chair, Physical Education and Sport Department
“As a member of the campus design team, I was impressed with how Smith Group/Eyberg Architects took ideas and implemented them into an architecturally pleasing design. They enhanced the opportunities for athletic practice, competition, teaching and university events. This project meets campus needs by improving the quality of the experience for those using the facility, thus improving the overall visibility of the building for the campus and community. It also enhances the functionality of space to further support educational and campus needs, expresses the campus architecture on the exterior and creates a sustainable facility that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.”
Bob Ebner Director, University Events
“The renovation to Rose Center will be an exciting change for the university. It will make the arena an exciting place to attend sporting and concert
events by adding much needed improvements to the facility in seating, restrooms and entrance/lobby. The addition of a practice facility will
make it more available for concerts and other programming as well. This will make it an arena to be proud of.”
Shaun Holtgreive Associate Director, Residence Life
“This project provides a tremendous opportunity to dramatically improve the much needed space issues for student leadership conferences and a large performance space for our students.”