September 10, 2002

$108 million in new construction at Wayne State this year includes Welcome Center, opening Thursday, Sept. 12

An $18.5 million Welcome Center at the busy intersection of Woodward and Warren in Detroit's University Cultural Center area is the latest manifestation of an unprecedented building boom at Wayne State University. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the imposing, glass-fronted structure will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

More than $108 million in new construction at Wayne State this year includes the Welcome Center, a $64 million pharmacy and health sciences building, a $19.9 million residence hall and a $6 million WSU Bookstore operated by Barnes & Noble.

The six-story North Residence Hall in the heart of campus opened in time for the fall term. Grand opening festivities for the facility, which houses about 380 students, will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 18. The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building on The Detroit Medical Center campus opened to students earlier this year and will have a grand opening celebration Oct. 10. The bookstore, adjacent to the Welcome Center, will open in October. It will replace an older store located elsewhere on campus.

The four-story Welcome Center, a high priority for President Irvin D. Reid since his arrival at WSU five years ago, locates in one building many of the administrative services new students use most frequently. It houses representatives of the admissions, registrars, scholarships and financial aid, housing, cashier's and other offices. Among its features are a 108-seatauditorium, three 52-inch video plasma screens and computer stations for easy access to information about Wayne State. In addition to being a first stop for prospective and new Wayne State students, the spacious new facility is a highly visible gateway to the campus.

The two-story, 28,000 square-foot bookstore will be one of the largest in the Detroit area and will have much in common with book superstores. Open to the public as well as the campus community, it will feature a Wayne State Warriors merchandise section, music section with listening stations, children's book section, a convenience store for snacks and sundries, and a coffee shop.

"The concept behind the Welcome Center and bookstore complex is to enhance services to students, faculty and staff while providing a celebration of entry to our campus," says Reid. "These facilities invite passersby onto the campus to experience the stimulating environment of Wayne State University and the Detroit Cultural Center area."

A 700-space parking structure, opened earlier this year at the site, serves the new buildings, while a landscaped plaza between the center and the bookstore offers a pleasant, outdoor setting for relaxation.

There will be no lull in construction activities at WSU during the coming year. Work is under way on South Residence Hall, which will be ready for occupancy in time for the 2003-04 academic year.

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