The newly renovated and much anticipated Strong Hall opened up for faculty and students for the first time since construction began in the fall of 2017.
“The building opened with the start of Winter 2019 classes, on time and on budget, a milestone for Eastern Michigan University as it marked the completion of the third and final phase of the Science Complex,” said Executive Director of Media Relations Geoff Larcom.
The project was approved by the state of Michigan at a total of $40 million and was finished on time and within budget with 75% of the funding coming from the state itself.
The inside features a new atrium with a student gathering place to study, eat, rest, or anything else they need to do between classes. The area offers a very natural and aesthetically pleasing common area.
“It looks really nice and beautiful,” said Breanna Mcswain, an EMU sophomore environmental science major. “All the windows adding natural light in the atrium as well as the classrooms brighten things up a lot.”
Some may not be as thrilled at all of the windows with one student mentioning that “some of the classrooms have a few too many windows into the hallway so it seems that it will get a little distracting, but I do like the area as a whole.”
Larcom said along with these are much needed electrical and structural upgrades as the original building was built in 1957 and has yet to be renovated until now. Strong Hall being home to many science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes and programs is centrally located on EMU’s campus causing students to alter their path across campus. The construction at one point closed off half of the West Circle Drive from Oct. 23 through Nov. 22 and created temporary two-way traffic on the one-way road through campus.
“It wasn’t much of an inconvenience though,” said Louella Eliason, a biology major who is a junior as well as a resident assistant for Brown/Munson apartments on campus. “A part from the occasional times I would need to be picked up on the other side of the building, it didn’t disrupt my day and I didn’t hear complaints from the other residents either.”
As to the new look of the building she added “it looks really nice, I have two classes and I am really excited for this semester in the building.”
“Strong Hall had been Eastern’s top capital outlay project since fiscal year 2010” said Larcom.
With the project’s closure the next three projects on the horizon being the Rec/IM center, Sill Hall, and the new sports medicine building which were all approved by the board of regents at their dollars over the next few years. The first of which being the first phase of the Rec/IM in the summer of this year.
Visit Strong Hall to see the renovations for yourself at W Circle Dr, Ypsilanti, MI 48197