First Phase of The Woods Opens

Friday 25, 2017

NMU students have moved into the new Birch Hall West and Cedar Hall West for the fall semester. The two buildings comprise the first phase of The Woods student housing complex developed and managed by EdR. The public-private partnership represents the largest construction project in NMU history. According to an EdR press release, Birch and Cedar Halls have 417 beds in a living-learning community that features robust internet and wi-fi capabilities, classrooms, study rooms, TV lounges and laundry facilities.

President Fritz Erickson reported at fall convocation that work has begun on The Lodge, the lounge and gathering space available 24/7 to residents and non-residents. Crews are also nearing completion of the Quad II satellite PEIF workout center—Wildcat Fit Zone—near the halls. EdR stated that the large patio area, fireplace and the open lobby are designed to accommodate art shows, student events, university functions and various types of entertainment for residents year round.

“When we began this relationship with Northern Michigan University in 2016, we were struck by how dedicated the entire campus was to modernizing and revitalizing the on-campus housing for current and future students,” said EdR CEO Randy Churchey. “From student recruitment and retention, to graduation and academic success rates, we’ve seen first hand what an impact high-quality on-campus housing can make for a university, as well as its students.”

The entire $75.4 million, 1,229-bed development will be financed through EdR’s On Campus Equity Plan — The ONE PlanSM — which uses the company’s equity and financial stability to fund projects on university land. EdR is leasing the land from the university and owns the community through its ONE Plan program, the press release stated. This program gives the university access to a single trusted partner and helps create substantial long-term financial benefits for Northern Michigan and EdR. By using EdR’s equity for the housing revitalization, NMU remains able to focus its financial and organizational resources on other projects and campus enhancements.

“We are very excited to welcome the first students to what we think is among the finest living and learning residence halls in the country,” said Erickson at convocation. “It's an exciting day on campus as we open our new residence halls to a new generation of students. Opening the first phase our new residence halls not only marks a real transformation for Northern's campus, it is the culmination of a great partnership between EdR and Northern to create among the finest living learning residence halls in the country.”

The east wings of Birch and Cedar Halls will open in January.

Kristi Evans
News Director

EdR photo