The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 19, 2019

Trades succeeding at EMU Success Center

By Marty Mulcahy, Editor



YPSILANTI - It looks like the new Student-Athlete Performance and Success Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan University will offer a pretty good vantage point to watch football at Rynearson Stadium.

But that's only one feature of the design of the university's new sports medicine and training center, which is being constructed across from the football stadium's north end zone. Design-builder Barton-Malow, its subcontractors and building trades union workers are erecting the 60,000 square-foot center, and it will house equipment operations, locker rooms, coaches' offices, and meeting spaces for the football team, while also including a new video board to serve the stadium.

"We are a piece of a larger university campaign that will forever transform EMU," said university Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee. "This new sports medicine and performance training facility will consolidate department infrastructure, and help provide a safe, effective environment with the highest levels of care for our students, while helping EMU more closely align with its peers in the Mid-American Conference."

The capital investment in the new center will provide modern sports medicine and performance training services for the university's student-athletes, while consolidating athletics personnel that are currently divided among the university's athletics and central campuses. This is the first major athletics facility enhancement on the EMU campus since the Convocation Center was completed in 1998.

Construction on the two-story, steel-framed building began on June 18 last year, said Barton Malow Senior Project Engineer Nate Hawes, following demolition of a building on the site. "The design has as much glass as possible in the building, especially on the south side facing the football field," Hawes said. "It's really going to be nice, bright building to be in."

The $20 million project is one of three major facility improvements approved by the EMU Board of Regents. We featured the $40 million renovation of Sill Hall in our last issue, and the Rec/IM facility on campus is getting a $16 million upgrade.

"These three projects constitute a powerful step forward in terms of improving our academic, recreational, and training facilities for our students, faculty, staff and varsity athletes," said EMU President James Smith. "I'm excited to think of how our students will benefit from the variety of major university enhancements approved today."

Construction on the new Student-Athlete Performance and Success Center is expected to wrap up this summer. Barton Malow has partnered with Integrated Design Solutions to manage the project.

"It's been a fairly straightforward job," Hawes said. "Actually, the timing of the project has worked out well for us, going into this we were concerned that there might be some manpower availability issues, but that never happened. We've done a substantial amount of building indoors during the winter, and the tradespeople have been available. So far, so good, they have done a good job, and we've really been rocking and rolling."

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 20,000 students. The university has been a member of the Mid-American Conference since 1971 and has been among the league's most successful members, boasting 141 MAC team championships in  Division I, the most of any team in the league during that span.


THE STUDENT-ATHLETE Performance and Success Center on the campus of  Eastern Michigan University is being constructed by Barton Malow, its subcontractors and building trades union workers on the north end zone of EMU’s Rynearson Football Stadium. A new video screen will tower above the facility.


INSULATOR John Richard of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 25 cuts a section of tape while working at the EMU project. He’s employed by R.L. Bondy.




INSULATOR John Richard of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 25 cuts a section of tape while working at the EMU project. He’s employed by R.L. Bondy.