- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Northern Michigan University plans to upgrade its campus in Marquette over the next five years as part of a $175 million capital improvement plan.

The investments were included in the university president’s alignment plan released in January. The school plans to fund the projects through a mix of capital reserves, state capital outlay, bonding, private giving and public/private partnerships.

Currently, the university faces declining enrollment and budget cuts, but administrators believe the upgrades will save money and attract students.

Under the plan’s largest proposed investment, Northern Michigan wants to spend about $100 million to build modernized housing and dining facilities to replace the former married housing dorms known as Quad I, the Mining Journal of Marquette (https://bit.ly/1LTVhLI ) reported.

“If you look at our Quad I facilities, they were built in 1964-65, they’re 52 years old and they’re nearing end of life,” Vice President of Finance Gavin Leach said. “So you need to look at ways to begin to replace those.”

The university plans to work with a private developer to provide new affordable housing in an effort to cut down on the debt students will have to pay after they graduate, he said.

Northern Michigan also hopes to use $10.5 million to build a business innovation center and $9.5 million to build a military and veterans education center.

Other plans include a $40 million renovation of the Learning Resource Center and a $15 million add-on to the Don H. Bottum University Center.

The president’s plan also includes an update to the Jacobetti Complex, but the cost for that project hasn’t been determined.

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Information from: The Mining Journal, https://www.miningjournal.net

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