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University of Michigan Builds $165M Hadley Center

Wed June 05, 2024 - Midwest Edition #12
Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent


Heavy equipment on the project includes track excavators, bulldozers, front-end loaders, dump trucks, roller compactors, truck-mounted cranes and all-terrain forklifts.
Photo courtesy of University of Michigan
Heavy equipment on the project includes track excavators, bulldozers, front-end loaders, dump trucks, roller compactors, truck-mounted cranes and all-terrain forklifts.
Heavy equipment on the project includes track excavators, bulldozers, front-end loaders, dump trucks, roller compactors, truck-mounted cranes and all-terrain forklifts.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Designed to meet the needs of current and future students, the $165 million Hadley Family Recreation and Well-Being Center at the University of Michigan is expected to earn LEED Platinum certification when it opens its doors in fall 2025.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Hazardous material abatement, mass excavation, earth retention system, building foundations, underground utilities and building demolition have already been completed.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Main materials range from concrete foundations, structural steel frame and composite concrete on steel deck floor structures to limestone and terracotta exterior cladding, EPDM membrane roof and high-performance glass.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) According to Flint-based Eagle Excavation, the subcontractor to construction manager Barton Malow Builders of Southfield, Mich., the assignment called for 65,000 tons of excavation and 96,000 tons of fill.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Crews began tearing down the former Central Campus Recreation Building in January 2023. The new facility is being built on the same site.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Following the building demo, mass excavation involved removal of existing building foundations, as well as the former pool.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan) Construction crews in Ann Arbor, Mich., are hard at work building the new facility, which will contain 200,000 sq. ft.   (Photo courtesy of University of Michigan)

Designed to meet the needs of current and future students, the $165 million Hadley Family Recreation and Well-Being Center at the University of Michigan is expected to earn LEED Platinum certification when it opens its doors in fall 2025. Construction crews in Ann Arbor, Mich., are hard at work building the new facility, which will contain 200,000 sq. ft.

"The new facility will include modern gymnasiums, a track for jogging and walking, spaces for weight and cardiovascular training, group exercise rooms, aquatics, climbing areas, courts for squash, and racquetball, locker rooms, support and administration spaces," said Robert Yurk, director of student life capital projects. "The project will allow greater access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff to improve their health and well-being.

"Additionally, recreational sports plans to partner with student life conference and event services to host events to include conferences, trades shows, fundraising events, receptions and weddings. One gymnasium is set up to allow it to be closed off for noise control. It also will have AV for audio reinforcement and video presentation capabilities, as well as lighting controls to facilitate the different needs."

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

The facility will be brighter and more open, offering opportunities for students to connect with each other. There will be expanded cardio and exercise areas that will cut wait times for users, and there will be more space for expanded personal training opportunities.

The new building is named the Hadley Family Recreation and Well-Being Center to acknowledge a generous gift from the parents of two U-M graduates who were active with recreational sports programs.

"Our whole family is delighted to support this world-class center for exercise, connection and wellness," said Philip and Nicole Hadley in a news release. "We firmly believe that a healthy balance between mind, body and community fosters success on all levels. We are delighted that we can help provide a wonderful new environment for the next generation."

As with many construction projects, the effort was paused due to COVID-19. When it resumed, cost estimates were increased based on market escalation. Also, during that time, the campus adopted guidelines that changed the design of some building materials and systems, resulting in a significant budget increase.

Steel erection is under way. The first elevated concrete slab pour has taken place, exterior framing has started, and installation of the underground stormwater detention system is on-going. Hazardous material abatement, mass excavation, earth retention system, building foundations, underground utilities and building demolition have already been completed.

Crews began tearing down the former Central Campus Recreation Building in January 2023. The new facility is being built on the same site.

"Demolition took approximately four months, including hazardous material abatement," said Yurk. "It was primarily accomplished using excavators with grapplers, due to the tight confines of the site. Water cannons were used to manage dust.

"All the material was separated and sorted for recycling purposes. This included ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass and concrete, which was sent for aggregate recycling."

Following the building demo, mass excavation involved removal of existing building foundations, as well as the former pool. An earth retain system was required to stabilize the east side of the site, to prevent disturbing adjacent residential structures.

"Some undercutting was required, due to unforeseen soil conditions under the former building footprint, which was not revealed in soil borings done around the perimeter of the former building," Yurk explained.

"Also, there is an existing utility tunnel that bisects the site, which the new building will straddle. Care had to be taken not to compromise that tunnel, as it houses critical infrastructure for a significant portion of campus."

According to Flint-based Eagle Excavation, the subcontractor to construction manager Barton Malow Builders of Southfield, Mich., the assignment called for 65,000 tons of excavation and 96,000 tons of fill. Heavy equipment on the project includes track excavators, bulldozers, front-end loaders, dump trucks, roller compactors, truck-mounted cranes and all-terrain forklifts.

Main materials range from concrete foundations, structural steel frame and composite concrete on steel deck floor structures to limestone and terracotta exterior cladding, EPDM membrane roof and high-performance glass.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

The design team features Integrated Design Solutions, in association with the firm of RDG Planning and Design. Numerous sustainability features have been incorporated with a goal to meet LEED Platinum.

As for the elements, said Yurk, "We are anticipating low weather impact, and the structure will be closed-in before the winter of 2024/2025, so the longer range future impact will be minimal."

Yurk said reaction to the new building has been extremely positive.

"The students are excited. The new facility will afford Recreational Sports the opportunity to expand current programs such as group exercise and offer new adventures such as bouldering and rock climbing."

Student advocacy was at the forefront for bringing this project to reality.

"Funding is always a challenge. In 2014, students formed ‘Building a Better Michigan' to advocate for renovating the three current recreation centers, as well as the Michigan Union. This culminated in the group gaining support from the University of Michigan board of regents to pass a student fee to fund the construction.

"The interesting aspect of this was that the students advocating for the fee, and the first ones to pay it, would never see the results of their efforts. However, they were visionary enough to see the need to start something that students who followed them would benefit from."

He added, "It's extremely satisfying to be a part of replacing an outdated 1970s-era building with a modern facility that will accommodate current student, faculty and staff needs for health and well-being." CEG




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