Proposals to move forward with plans for new South Campus residence hall approved

On Dec. 2, the Oakland University Board of Trustees gathered in the Elliott Hall Auditorium to discuss various topics including a motion for approval to continue plans for the South Student Housing Complex and summer 2016 renovations for West Vandenberg Hall.

“I woke up this morning with a song in my head: “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year,” Glenn McIntosh, vice president for student affairs, said.

“Today is a wonderful day at Oakland University, as I present a proposal for the advancement of plans for our institution to continue its transformation into a first choice, metropolitan university for inspiring students both inside Michigan and outside of our boundaries.”

McIntosh spoke regarding the University’s great priority to advance its mission to create a living-learning environment in which great, deep engagement occurs and allows students to grow in their capability to compete confidently inside and outside of OU.

Due to the significant increase in demand for on-campus housing following the rapid occupation of Oak View Hall, leaving over 200 students on a waiting list and 93 in temporary housing, the housing department has made the decision to expand.

“Due to the saturation of North Campus, we have decided to expand to South Campus to create a hybrid building that will include 750 beds, classrooms, general purpose, dining and kitchen space for our students,” McIntosh said.

“Our target audience is students of sophomore and junior standing, and we hope this new building will provide the tools that will aid in the increase of retention and graduation rate among students.”

Following the proposal, a motion was approved to continue plans for the South Campus Housing Project in partnership with an architectural and engineering firm and The Scion Group. The project’s budget has not yet been approved by the board.

In addition to the South Campus Housing Project, there were proposals made regarding the summer 2016 phase one renovations to West Vandenberg Hall.

These updates will include the demolition or rehabilitation of boilers, air handling units, replacement of bathroom and plumbing fixtures, upgraded direct digital controls and minor architectural upgrades and repairs.

Director of Housing James Zentmeyer addressed the board to seek approval for the various updates, in addition to the approval of the Christman Company as the construction management firm for the renovations.

“We are seeking approval to commence phase one renovations for Vandenberg hall in the summer of 2016,” Zentmeyer said.

“This will be a three-year project beginning this summer in the west tower of Vandenberg hall, and continue to the east tower and center core in phases two and three. The additions will occur exclusively in the summer months to avoid the displacement or interruption of students during the school year.”

Following discussion of the pre-approved 2016 fiscal budget for phase one, The Cristmand Company was approved as the construction management firm due to their submission of the lowest qualified bid for the project, as well as their reputation with Oakland University on projects including the Human Health Building, parking structure and others in the last ten years.