Wednesday, July 15, 2009

East Campus Suites Project Will Usher In Modern Living

Home suite home will take on greater meaning for Ferris State University students who will be residing in the East Campus Suites. They are scheduled to be completed and open in August of 2010.

At the end of the Spring 2009 semester, East Campus Apartments had students check out for the final time to end a run of nearly 50 years as home to students, faculty, staff and families. The seven buildings located east of Ives Street and north of Damascus Drive are being replaced by three, three-story, modern apartment-style residential facilities for students.

The $22 million project will provide accommodations for approximately 300 students. East Campus Suites will be designed for nine-and-a-half-month single-student housing during the fall and spring semesters for students 20 years of age or older.

“This is going to be right on par with many new campus buildings you’re seeing built for housing students,” said Michael Hughes, associate vice president for Physical Plant. “We wanted to emphasize a sense of community with this project, and we feel like we’re going to have that when it’s finished.”

Students living on campus during the 2009-10 academic year will have priority to move into the East Campus Suites when they open. The suites will include all of the amenities many students expect from residential life on a college campus: air conditioning, common areas for gathering, elevators, laundry rooms and a study lounge. Each building hosts 24 four-bedroom suites and two two-bedroom suites. Students will have their own furnished bedroom and share a full bathroom. To make the apartments feel more like home, there is a furnished living room and full kitchen in each suite.

“Students have different expectations coming to campus these days than they did when they were coming to campus in the 1950s and the 1960s,” Hughes said. “We feel like this is going to help us in appealing to students who have those different expectations of what a campus living environment is going to be like. A lot of our students are coming to campus having lived in their own room and a lot of them have the expectation that is going to continue in college.”

Hughes indicated that asbestos abatement is being completed and demolition of the older buildings has commenced. In addition to continued demolition, there will be excavation, installation of elevator pits and laying of the foundation.

One of the benefits of this project has been the positive impact it has and will continue to have on the local and regional economy, he added.

According to figures cited by Hughes:

• 95 percent of project materials to be used are from Michigan;

• 75 percent of project materials come from within a 60-mile radius;

• 30 percent of materials come from Mecosta County;

• 100 percent of the labor force is from Michigan;

• 80 percent of the labor force is from within a 60-mile radius;

• 20 percent of the labor force is from Mecosta County.

For more information about living in an on-campus residence at Ferris, visit

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