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Week of April 22, 2013

Regents OK student fee to renovate rec sports, unions

The Board of Regents has taken the first step in a several-year approach to renovating student unions and recreational sports facilities on the Ann Arbor campus with approval of a $65-per-student, per-term fee that will help fund those projects.

The fee, which will be assessed starting in fiscal year 2015, was approved Thursday during a meeting that took place in one of the buildings that would be renovated — the Michigan Union, built in 1919.

“I am so excited about this resolution and enthusiastically support it. I think it’s wonderful that different parts of the institution are sharing in the cost,” said Regent Denise Ilitch. “We want our students to be healthy.”

Estimated cost for the renovations and additions to six individual facilities is $173 million. The renovations are expected to take several years to complete, but planning will begin this fall. Each project will come back to the Board of Regents for approval.

Funding for the project would be shared about evenly by students and other university sources, to reflect regular use of the facilities by all members of the campus community, said Loren Rullman, associate vice president for student affairs.

The campus recreational sports facilities receive more than 1 million individual visitors a year and the department organizes intramural sports for 18,000 students. It also facilitates club sports for 2,000 students and serves 3,000 faculty staff and alumni members.

U-M created the nation’s first student recreational programs in 1913 and built the first student recreation center in 1928. While many details still are to be decided, it is anticipated that the work will include these renovations:

• Intramural Sports Building: Repair infrastructure and restore architecture of the 1928 building.

Central Campus Recreation Building: Repair infrastructure, renovate and build a small addition to the 1976 building.

• North Campus Recreation Building: Construct a small addition to the 1976 building.

• Mitchell Fields: Improve playing surfaces and safety.

• Michigan Union: Repair infrastructure and improve student spaces in the 1919 building.

• Pierpont Commons: Update customer dining spaces.

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