Community celebration for Sangren and other projects set

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Photo of WMU's Sangren Hall.

The new Sangren Hall

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University is inviting the greater community to join a Friday, Sept. 28, celebration formally marking the completion of three major projects at the heart of West Campus—Sangren Hall, the new pedestrian mall and the renovated Lee Honors College.

The event, titled "Excellence Renewed," begins at 6 p.m. on the mall and will feature remarks by President John M. Dunn, Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Johnston and other officials. Following those remarks, those attending will be welcomed inside Sangren Hall for a closer look.

The free event will include a performance by the Bronco Marching Band, a reception and self-guided walking tours, with knowledgeable guides stationed at each stopping point.

Sangren Hall

The $60 million, four-story, 230,000-square-foot building was ready in time for fall classes. Funded by the state of Michigan and WMU, the University began the construction project two years ago. The new Sangren replaces a building that was nearly 50 years old. Only the northern wing of the original still stands; it is set to be demolished this semester.

Sangren is headquarters of the College of Education and Human Development and home of the Department of Sociology. It is also one of the University's most heavily used classroom facilities.

Sustainably designed and built with the goal of achieving LEED gold certification, Sangren Hall’s architect was SHW Group of Berkley, Mich. while Miller-Davis Co. of Kalamazoo constructed it. Together they created a facility that has more than four dozen classrooms, thousands of instructional seats, a large grants and research center as well as clinical and office space for several programs.

Designed to be both functional and attractive, the new Sangren has terrazzo floors and other sustainable materials inside, such as bamboo wood veneer on doors and cork flooring.

The beauty of the new Sangren is echoed just outside of the building by an expansive pedestrian mall with walkways and benches created from reclaimed granite, set off by lush grasses. One of the mall's other striking elements is a cascading water feature.

Situated just northwest of these the mall is another milestone project that was completed in time for the new school year.

Lee Honors College

The Lee Honors College has been expanded and enhanced. The $1.7 million project doubled the building's number of classrooms and infused it with cutting-edge classroom technology, including in a new seminar room. This seminar room has a tiled screen, for instance, with Skype capabilities that supports distance-learning sessions.

The project's major donors are Carl E. and Winifred Lee, who provided $1.1 million in funding for the expansion.