Take A Peek: WMU’s Dunbar Hall Undergoing $40 Million Dollar Renovation
Did you know it was one of the two most used buildings at Western Michigan University? Dunbar Hall, is in the midst of a $40 million dollar renovation, and due to delays from the covid pandemic, is now expected to re-open for classroom education with the 2023 Fall semester. But if you haven't seen the architectural drawings, you may be surprised at how the new Dunbar Hall will look.
A little history first; Dunbar, along with Knauss and Friedmann Halls were built in the 1960's in response an enrollment boom during that decade. The generation we now call the "baby-boomers" were becoming of college age and many were flocking to Kalamazoo and WMU. For some five decades, Dunbar Hall, all five and a half stories and 78,000 square feet of it, helped educated countless students and helped meet the demand for classroom space. Although the five and a half story, 78,000 square-foot building has served the University well over its almost 50-year lifetime, the University says it just doesn't provides adequate, accessible space to support teaching and learning.
So when Fall 2023 rolls around, what are students and faculty going to find? A part of the overhaul includes completely reconfigured classrooms including space for "informal learning and study". There's also going to be "significant upgrades to the existing utility infrastructure, shared with Friedmann and Knauss Halls, to maximize energy efficiency".
After it re-opens, there will be a modern communication media suite and dance studio. The School of Communication media suite will include a TV studio, control room, journalism room, and an audio production and podcast studio.
And finally one by-product of the pandemic, Dunbar will have a "remote advising office, allowing students to stop in between classes to receive personalized one-on-one academic and career advising."