Engineering and Planning provides the expertise and resources necessary to meet the planning, architectural/engineering design, and construction administration needs of the University's physical assets to sustain a functional, safe, and attractive teaching, learning, and working environment.

Engineering and Planning is responsible for:

  • Facility Design
  • Construction Management
  • Space Inventory
  • CAD/GIS Services
  • Construction Renovation Estimating
  • Utility Mapping
  • University Signage
  • Campus Master Plan

Request Process for Facilities Projects


Northern Center exterior

Design/Construction Projects

The Engineering and Planning office is responsible for the oversight of Northern Michigan University’s use of space, whether that is creating new space, renovating current space or assisting in changing how space is currently used.  As such, the office oversees all university design and construction projects.  This includes meeting with the NMU staff and departments who are impacted by the space to come up with an initial plan, developing or working with an outside source to conceptualize the plan and develop schematics, and then working with the various construction agencies to implement the action plan.

Many of NMU’s facilities are state buildings with funding coming from the State of Michigan. These buildings include those used for academic purposes or that support the university’s academic endeavor.  There is an extensive process that takes place before a facility receives state funding.  Other buildings, such as residence halls and the University Center, are considered auxiliary buildings, meaning they are funded by those who use their services. The plans for auxiliary buildings are also subject to state review, although they are not funded by the state.

Architectural and construction-related companies who wish to be a part of NMU’s bid process, should contact the Purchasing office by mailing information to Purchasing, Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI  49855 or calling 906-227-2360.

Design Projects

NMU is continually evaluating the physical needs of the campus. Through this review process, current facilities are chosen for maintenance or renovation while new facilities are considered for construction. Renovating old buildings and constructing new facilities is an involved process that requires the university to take several steps. Some of these steps include finding appropriate funding, developing a design plan and project timeline, selecting industry partners to work on the project and, finally, working on the building. These pages outline some of the projects that NMU currently has in the design phase

Through this capital outlay request, Northern Michigan University (NMU) plans to revitalize approximately 113,000 square feet of lab, classroom and public space into a

vibrant, modern high-tech teaching facility for future engineers and technical career professionals. This renovated facility will not only provide degree seeking students the academic training needed to be successful in industrial, engineering and service related careers, but also the space and equipment required to keep the skill set of those working in these fields up-to-date on current technologies. A distinctive aspect of this facility will be the creation of a “manufacturing design center” utilizing the tools and expertise within its walls to assist Upper Michigan entrepreneurs design and develop new products. 

NMU Project Manager:  Jim Thams

Project Budget:  $28.6 million

Project Schedule:  Dependent on State funding for construction; approval received for schematic design.

Through private gifts the new Northern Enterprise Center will be a modern venue for business education, a hub for entrepreneurship, a training center for tomorrow’s business leaders and an engine of regional economic development and transformation.

The enterprise center will

  • Bring together intellectual capital and educational programming in one state-of-the-art facility. Within this synergistic setting, students and faculty will learn, research and interact directly with business owners, developers, entrepreneurs and economic development organizations to foster innovation, test boundary-breaking ideas and launch new ventures.
  • Serve as a central location for entrepreneurial activities, training, business development and technology transfer.
  • Support entrepreneurs, start-ups and established organizations with essential resources and services— from market assessments to financing to coaching to business launch boot camps.
  • Provide students with on-campus internships, mentorships, employment and active learning experiences.


NMU Project Manager:  Jim Thams

Facility Size: 47,000 GSF

Project Budget:  $16.5 million

Tentative Schedule:  Construction - spring 2021


Elizabeth and Edgar Harden Hall Window Replacement 

The existing windows in Harden Hall are original except those in the First Floor lounge and the Second Floor staff work area.  All storefront entrances are still in good condition being less than 15 years old. Project would include replacing all remaining windows throughout facility.

NMU Project Manager: Steve LaBar

Architect: Northern Design Works

Project Budget: $300,000 

Project Schedule: TBD

Construction Projects

NMU regularly reviews the physical needs of campus facilities. This process allows the university to determine which facilities are chosen for maintenance or renovation and what new facilities need to be constructed. Renovating old buildings and constructing new facilities is an involved process that requires the university to take several steps. Some of these steps include finding appropriate funding, developing a design plan and project timeline, selecting industry partners to work on the project and, finally, working on the building. These pages outline some of the construction projects at NMU.

In 2009 the university developed a new Wayfinding (exterior signage) plan to better define the campus boundaries and help visitors quickly and efficiently find their way to and around campus. The goal was to create a more comfortable campus experience that nurtures students and welcomes visitors by defining the campus entries and providing information to key destinations at all major intersections. Distinct routes from City streets to campus, improved campus entry signs, new building signs and pedestrian and vehicle guide signs are all proposed as part of this new plan.

Phase 1 & 2 of this project included the installation of a new entry sign at all campus entrances, one of the major trail blazers directing visitors from city streets to campus and a new building sign for the C.B. Hedgcock Building, along with a new entry sign at the NMU Golf Course.

As part of the Jamrich Hall replacement project, two new building signs, one parking lot sign, and two vehicle guide signs will be installed to direct people to the new facility.

    Recently Completed Projects

    The project will create new laboratory spaces through renovation of existing non-laboratory classrooms within West Science. Conceptually, the work flow will involve preparation of plant materials and their growth, extraction of chemical compounds, and research and analysis.

    NMU Project Manager: Steve LaBar

    Architect: Lord Aeck Sargent

    Contractor: Premeau Construction

    Project Budget: $2.4 million  

    Project Schedule: Completed August 2019

    Through this renovation, NMU intends to create a new and modern venue for the university, region and Upper Peninsula that attracts students and the community. To increase student traffic to the facility, the student enrichment and organization space will be enhanced and made more visible. Also a student activity zone will be created for students to relax and socialize outside of class. To enhance the facility’s conference function, an enlarged conference venue will be constructed, existing break out and meeting rooms will be upgraded and larger, more welcoming pre-function and networking space will be incorporated. A new exterior façade will be constructed at the main entrance to the building creating a truly unique, signature type facility and some long term maintenance items such as a new chiller and main electrical switchgear will be installed.

    NMU Project Manager:  Jim Thams

    Architect: Neumann/Smith Architecture

    Construction Manager: Boldt Construction

    Project Budget:  $22.325 Million

    Project Schedule:  Completed September 2019 


    The project resurfaced eight existing tennis courts on Wright Street.

    NMU Project Manager: Brandon Sager

    Contractor:  TBD    

    Project Schedule: May-July 2019

    The project will complete the irrigation system around The Woods. Transmission main was installed summer 2018.

    NMU Project Manager: Jim Thams

    Contractor:  Nagelkirk    

    Project Schedule: May-July 2019

    Office Space Utilization

    Category Minimum/Maximum Recommended
    A. Student 30-40 36
    B. Clerical/Technical 45-60 48
    C. Administrative/ Professional (A1-A3),     Senior Administrative-Admin. Assistants, Graduate Assistants 65-85 76
    D. Administrative/ Professional (A4-A10), Faculty (All Classifications), Senior Administration, Assistant Coaches 100-150 120
    E. Senior Administration- Director, Senior Management/ Deans, Academic Department Heads/ Coaches 160-220 200
    F. Vice Presidents 225-275 250
    G. President As needed  

    NOTE: The above Space Utilization Standards are to be used as guidelines by the Engineering and Planning Office when designing new or renovated space. The square footages listed above are for office and workstation spaces only. They do not include circulation, storage areas, reception areas, etc. Deviations from the above may be required, based on design requirements. Categories A thru C normally are designed in an open landscape configuration. Departments requesting office square footages exceeding the maximum, must have the appropriate Vice President and President’s approval. The Engineering and Planning Office will consult with using departments in the design process, to encourage flexible and innovative space arrangements to minimize space usage. Such items as sharing conference rooms, reception areas, and storage rooms will be considered. Typical workstation designs by category, are provided as a guide to be used in the design process.

    View the mock-ups in the image carousel below. 

    Change in Use Request

    It is the policy of Northern Michigan University that any department wanting to make a change to the department's use of facilities including moves, renovation of existing facilities or installation/modification of equipment which requires a change to building systems must submit a Change-in-Use request with division head signature to Engineering and Planning for approval.


    A university department that plans to make a change in the department's use of physical plant facilities (this includes room changes, renovating existing facilities or the installation/modification of equipment which requires changes to building systems) the department must:

    1. Submit a "Change-in-Use" form (located here) to The Engineering and Planning Department. This requires the requesting department's division head approval.

    2. Engineering and Planning Reviews the "Change-in-Use" form and:

    Identifies Building Modifications
    Updates Facilities Database
    Informs Master Plan Committee of any changes in use of facility to ensure compliance with the Master Plan

    3. If plan does not require any building modifications, and is consistent with the University Master Plan and applicable codes, Engineering and Planning will notify the department to proceed and the following steps do not apply.

    4. If required, Engineering and Planning will develop a cost estimate for building modifications.

    5. Requesting department identifies funding source.

    6. Engineering and Planning develops specifications and plans and coordinates all necessary code reviews.

    7. Project turned over to Plant Operations for completion or to Business Services for contractor bids.

    Master Plan

    Master Plan - Charge:

    The Campus Master Plan Committee will advise university administration on the implementation and updating of the Campus Master Plan. The committee will review proposals for the development or renovation of campus buildings and land to ensure that the proposals are consistent with the University's Campus Master Plan.

    Committee Membership:

    1. Three faculty members appointed by the President based on recommendation of AAUP and NMUFA.
    2. One student representative appointed by the president based on recommendation of ASNMU.
    3. Three representatives appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs
    4. Two representatives appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration
    5. The Registrar, or an assigned representative.
    6. The Director of Public Safety and Police Services, or an assigned representative.
    7. The Director of Housing and Residence Life, or an assigned representative.

    Committee Operations:

    The Vice President for Finance and Administration will select the committee chair from members of the committee, and will serve for a three year term.

    The chair will schedule meetings as needed.

    Recommendations for new buildings, the renovation of existing buildings, the intended use of buildings and the use of campus lands will be reviewed by the committee to ensure they are consistent with the University Campus Master Plan. All recommendations will be forwarded to the committee for review after the Office of Engineering and Planning has first reviewed them. The chair will submit the committee's findings and recommendation to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

    Northern Michigan University, by providing quality academic programs, strong student support and extensive regional service for it stakeholders in the Upper Midwest, challenges its students, faculty, staff and alumni to strive for excellence, both inside and outside the classroom and to become out citizens and leaders.

    To accomplish this mission, Northern provides a supportive living and learning environment that includes high-caliber undergraduate and graduate programs, personal attention, extensive use of modern technology and continuous improvement of curriculum and services through systematic assessment. Challenging themselves and their students, Northern faculty and staff are dedicated to effective teaching and intellectual inquiry; to including students as learning partners in their research, scholarship and other professional activities; and to advancing the university’s roles as a service provider and as a cultural and recreational center in the Upper Peninsula. Northern Michigan University students will study ethics, humanitarian values, and cultural awareness in a strong general education program, as well as master specific knowledge in a major career field. As graduates who are life-long learners, they will possess the skills and attitudes to succeed in a fast-paced, constantly evolving, multi-cultural world. As alumni, they will be challenged to continue an NMU tradition, that of distinguishing themselves in their careers and communities.