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April 26, 2022

MSU announces multicultural center site selection

A new stand-alone building will be constructed on the northeast corner of North Shaw and Farm lanes

Following a feasibility study and recommendations of the Multicultural Center Planning Committee, in April 2022, Michigan State University selected the location on the northeast corner of North Shaw and Farm lanes for building the new multicultural center.

The undeveloped site on the south side of the Red Cedar River is in the heart of MSU’s campus.

“Building from the ground up is more cost-effective than a renovation project and allows for greater possibilities to meet the needs of our underrepresented students and achieve a sense of belonging,” Senior Vice President for Student Life and Engagement Vennie Gore said.

With the location selected, design firm SmithGroup has facilitated community engagement sessions to inform the design of the 32,700-square-foot center.

Initial visioning concepts drew positive feedback around their ability to create spaces for student collaboration that place emphasis on intersectionality, celebrating the diversity of the student body. The preferred concepts specify a variety of outdoor spaces and leverage the prominence of the site on campus.

“With the site identified, it’s exciting to see the building start to become a reality,” said Sharron Reed-Davis, student representative and chair of the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students (CORES) and Council of Progressive Students Coalition (COPS). “I’m glad that the students who fought and advocated for the creation of this building are able to be a part of the design process.”

Features being explored include site activities, landscape features, a living room, collaboration space, communal kitchen and a range of meeting spaces, along with office space for CORES and COPS.

“Students and community stakeholders provided key insights which we are using to guide the design,” said Monteil Crawley, principal and lead designer on the project at SmithGroup. “We will continue this feedback loop as the design continues to be refined, ensuring the student-established pillars are met for the multicultural center.”

Currently in the planning phase, the next steps entail developing the design and floor plans to present to the board next year. 

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