University of Detroit breaks ground on new student center

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    On Sept. 22, officials at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) broke ground for a new 40,000 square-foot Student Fitness Center on the McNichols Campus. It marks the first new, freestanding building on the campus in more than 40 years, according to UDM president Antoine M. Garibaldi. “It is most appropriate that the new facility’s primary focus will be on the health and well-being of our students,” Garibaldi said. “UDM emphasizes the importance of developing a well-rounded individual, with a focus not just on the intellectual, but also the spiritual, social and physical well-being of our students.”

    The fitness center, located on the east side of the Engineering Building, will feature a two-court gymnasium for recreation and intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton and floor hockey; an elevated three-lane track; a group exercise room; men’s and women’s locker rooms and restrooms; a lobby and student lounge and a “smoothie bar.”

    “The new Student Fitness Center will provide more opportunities for our students to enrich their college experience, providing both health and social benefits,” said William C. Young, member of the UDM Board of Trustees, and president and CEO of Plastipak Packaging, Inc. and Absopure Water.

    The new fitness center will echo the collegiate Spanish architectural themes found on the university’s other buildings.

    The center will face the Kassab Mall, in close proximity to the university’s new tennis complex and pavilion, practice fields, residence halls and historic Calihan Hall. The center is expected to open next fall.

    This latest development is coming on the heels of the appointment of Garibaldi as UDM president. A national scholar in higher education, Garibaldi’s career spans more than 35 years as a tenured professor, accomplished researcher and educational administrator. He served as president of Gannon University and was the first provost and chief academic officer at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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