Recreational Sports and University Unions

How will these initiatives benefit students and the University as a whole?

U-M has always provided an uncommon education, one that prepares students for leadership in their communities; for lives that are healthy and productive; and for social change in the world.  The Unions and Recreation facilities are laboratories of sorts - places for students to get involved, test ideas, create coalitions, and lead their peers.  These facilities support student organizations and teams, fitness and wellness, and casual interaction that may not otherwise happen on campus.  And, since they also host faculty, staff, alumni, family members and guests of the University, they also build community while conveying Michigan hospitality.

How are these projects funded?

Student fees pay $65 per term, which funds about 54% of the total project cost of $174 million.  The balance of the project cost is paid by a combination of other University sources.  Please see the Funding section of this site for more information.

When will construction begin on these projects, and how long will it last?

Construction has already begun!  The Fireside Cafe at the Pierpont Commons and Mitchell Fields have been completed (2015); the Intramural Sports Building renovation is underway and is scheduled for completion Fall 2016; the North Campus Recreation Building is scheduled for renovation beginning summer 2017; the Michigan Union is scheduled for renovation beginning Summer 2018; and the Central Campus Recreation Building is scheduled for renovation beginning Summer 2020.  All renovations are projected to be completed in 2021.

Why renovate the Michigan Union?

The Michigan Union, which opened in 1919, has served as the heart of student life for almost a century. Original funding for construction was provided primarily by students. While the Union remains an iconic symbol of the University of Michigan, the infrastructure is failing, student needs have changed, and it is in need of updating and repair.

Will the Recreational Facilities receive new equipment?

Yes! The Recreational Sports projects will include new equipment.  

How are students involved in these renovations?

Students have been the primary reason and activists for these buildings since they were first constructed.  And, this remains true today.  Multiple student organizations, such as Building a Better Michigan, Advisory Committee on Recreational Sports, Michigan Union Board of Representatives, Central Student Government, and others have advocated for and been involved in renovation planning.  (See the page on Student Involvement.)

How can I get involved in these projects?

There are many ways you can get involved!  Students are always welcome to join the primary renovation advocacy group Building a Better Michigan, or talk with either Michigan Union Board of Representatives or Advisory Committee on Recreational Sports, about how to get involved.  For updates, events, and information, follow us on Facebook: Recreational Sports and University Unions Renovations Join us for events and town halls! You can also support these projects by giving a gift on our Donate page.