CMU's Barnes Hall a casualty of campus improvements, faces 2019 demolition

It’s been a good run.

Barnes Hall, that classic residence hall on Central Michigan University’s campus, is coming down.

Built in 1951, Barnes Hall has the distinction of serving generations of CMU students. It also has the distinction of being the only residence hall on CMU’s campus that still has community bathrooms.

And while plenty of memories were formed between its walls, the school isn’t letting sentimentality get in the way of progress. Barnes will be demolished in 2019.

Of course, Barnes isn’t coming down for no reason. CMU has a number of improvements to residence life planned for 2019. It’s the first of a three-year plan to improve campus living at CMU.

In 2019, CMU plans to modernize its North Residence Hall Complex, or Calkins, Larzelere, and Trout halls. Infrastructure improvements will be made to its South Residence Halls Complex, or Beddow, Merrill, Sweeney, and Thorpe halls. And improved ventilation and exterior lighting enhancements will be made to its East Residence Halls Complex, or Herrig, Saxe, Emmons, and Woldt halls.

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees approved $13 million for the 2019 improvements. In total, the three-year plan will cost $76 million.

"Barnes Hall has been a great home to thousands of students during their time at CMU. There are strong ties to a building where lifelong friendships were formed and memories were made," says Kathleen Gardner, director of residence life.

"This is a time to celebrate the history of Barnes as we also look to evolve our residence life program for generations to come."

Planned improvements for 2020 and 2021 include the modernization of the Merrill and Robinson residential restaurants, construction of a North Campus Wellness Center, creation of a Central Plaza green space between Sweeney and Thorpe halls, construction of a new parking lot south of Broomfield Road, and planning for the demolition and replacement of Northwest Apartments and Kewadin Village.

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