Work has started on the $33.9m project to renovate the Rankin Student Center at the Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, US.
The university said the current facility was originally built in 1957, with additions in 1960 and 1987, and no longer meets its goal to focus on community.
After completion, the new renovated centre will serve as a gathering place for the campus community and a home for its commuter students.
The new centre will feature a mix of dining, retail and entertainment facilities and will also house additional meeting space for student organisations.
Ferris State University president David Eisler said the new centre will be an addition to the central core of Big Rapids campus.
"The concept of creating interaction beyond the classroom is one of the guiding principles of the renovation," Eisler said.
The university said that the majority of the project will be funded by a financial reserve it has worked for several years to build.
The university has also issued bonds to generate $13m towards the project’s completion.
Demolition is currently under way on Carlisle and Masselink residence halls, which will provide an area for additional parking.
The residence hall accommodates the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services, and offices for Student Government and Entertainment Unlimited on the terrace level.
Housing and Residence Life, Transfer Services Center, Veterans Program, First Lady’s Attic and Bulldog Radio will be on the first floor.
The second and third floors will house students during the autumn and spring semesters and the university said it has leased the space in the centre just south of campus on Northland Drive to serve as a temporary home during the renovation.
Image: The new centre will feature a mix of dining, retail and entertainment options. Photo: Courtesy of Ferris State University.