MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved housing and dining rates for the 2017-18 academic year. The cost of a standard double-occupancy room and the “gold constant meal pass” dining option in the established residence halls will be $5,039 per semester, an increase of $237. The cost of a double-occupancy shared suite and meal plan in two new residential units under construction will be $5,432 per semester, a difference of less than $100 per month compared with the remaining facilities.
“The cost increase for the existing residence halls will offset utility rate hikes and increasing costs for ongoing maintenance and renovation costs required for those buildings,” said Gavin Leach, NMU vice president for finance and administration. “We wanted to set the rates early so that students and parents can make informed decisions as they select housing for the fall. There are more choices than ever available to Northern students.”
The new residential units being built by EdR Collegiate Housing and going online in the fall will have 400 beds. They feature three room styles: basic shared rooms about 30 percent larger than existing facilities with a partial wall divider between the sleeping areas; upgraded shared rooms offering private bedrooms with lockable doors; and single rooms with a private bath. They also have larger lounge areas and study spaces than other residence halls.
The board approved naming the new housing complex The Woods, while providing authority to NMU’s administration to determine individual building names. The Woods was one of three names proposed by a committee and the most popular option among students who responded to a survey.
“We wanted to come up with a general name for the new complex that would allow us a level of flexibility in the future, should there be naming opportunities for private donors to sponsor halls,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “The Woods is appropriate because it signifies where we are in the Upper Peninsula and it has an environmental theme that we thought was pretty important.”
NMU had previously offered only a daily rate for summer occupancy of its campus apartments and Spooner Hall. The proposal approved by the board includes a monthly rate, offering a savings to tenants seeking extended stays during the summer.
“The monthly rate will be more palatable to students and it decreases what they would have paid on a daily basis by as much as 25 percent,” said Jeff Korpi, director of NMU Housing and Residence Life. “This will make the apartments more marketable and encourage students to spend the summer in Marquette, perhaps taking some classes.”
Detailed housing and dining rates will be available at nmu.edu/housing.
Property items comprised the majority of the formal recommendations approved by the board. Trustees agreed to accept a Marquette Branch Prison parcel from the State Administrative Board to serve as the site of a secured outdoor research station for NMU’s forensic anthropology program. The station will be the eighth worldwide and the first cold-weather facility.
In continued collaboration with the City of Marquette, the NMU board approved property transfers from NMU to the city for additional right-of-way road construction and sidewalk installation. The transfers are related to proposed roundabouts at the intersections of Presque Isle/Fair Avenue, Wright Street/Tracy Avenue and along the north side of Wright Street between Sugar Loaf Avenue and Industrial Parkway. The board amended the formal recommendation to include a reciprocal easement for university signage at the locations. Trustees also approved an access easement agreement between NMU and the City of Marquette related to the new Municipal Service Center.
The final property item approved was the conveyance of property for the Ripley Heating Plant and portions of the Art and Design Building from the State Building Authority to NMU, as 1997 bonds for both projects have been retired. A 2005 bond remains on the remaining Art and Design project.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a resolution to support NMU’s Planning for Distinction process, a comprehensive analysis of academic and support services. The process will help to guide university decisions on strategic resource allocation.
• Approved the following board committee appointments: James Haveman and Lisa Fittante to the Finance Committee; and Alexis Hart and Rick Popp to the Academic Affairs committee;
• Agreed to add a July team-building and planning retreat to the 2017 meeting schedule. Dates have yet to be determined.