September 25, 2018

Chatsworth Residence Hall renovation moving forward; other campus buildings receiving attention

During its Sept. 21 meeting, the Wayne State University Board of Governors (BOG) authorized an increase in funding for additional improvements to the renovation of Chatsworth Residence Hall, located at 630 Williams Mall.

The architectural icon — originally built in 1928 as an apartment building — has been undergoing a major facelift inside and out as a primary feature of the overall campus housing facilities master plan approved by the board in 2016.

At its October 2017 meeting, the BOG approved a project to renovate and convert the Chatsworth Apartments into a suite-style residence hall for a cost not to exceed $28 million. The recent action by the board approves additional funding of $860,000. All funding will be provided from the Corvias Campus Living – WSU, LLC original bond proceeds.

In 1961, Chatsworth was incorporated into the Wayne State University campus as married student housing, and the university continued expansion around it. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Included in the conceptual renovation plan:

  • Restoration of the exterior of the building.
  • Full demolition and rebuilding of floors two through nine into suites.
  • Removal of all walls located on floors two through nine.
  • Light renovation of five existing apartments on the mezzanine level of the first floor.
  • The historic lobby and sitting room will retain their original character, with the other program spaces on the first floor being modernized for student study and assembly.

Following additional program planning, the original scope of work has been expanded to include demolition and replacement of the five existing apartments on the mezzanine level with seven new apartments and a ramp that will be ADA accessible and compliant.

The Chatsworth renovation and restoration program is planned to achieve LEED Silver certification. Phased renovation is already underway, with the exterior restoration and new roof being completed this fall. Chatsworth Apartments will close on May 1, 2019, and remain closed the entire 2019-20 academic year for the interior renovation.

In other board actions …

  • Louis M. Elliman Research Building (421 East Canfield), built in 1989, will receive upgrades on three air-handling units, a new control system and modified ductwork to improve temperature and humidity control and correct laboratory supply and exhaust air imbalances.
  • Prentis Building (5201 Cass Ave.), built in 1964, will receive replacement of heating hot water piping to resolve uneven heating issues. In June 2018, the board authorized the design and construction of the relocation of the computer science and math departments’ computer labs to the second floor of Prentis. A portion of heating hot water piping was included with that project.
  • Relocation from the Horace H. Rackham Educational Memorial Building to the Prentis Building and Rands House (5221 Cass Avenue) of office, research and clinic space for the communication science and disorders and psychology departments of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Wayne State University lease of the Horace H. Rackham Educational Memorial Building from the University of Michigan will end in June 2019, and U-M plans to renovate the building, requiring WSU to vacate.
  • School of Social Work Building roof replacement. Located at 5447 Woodward, the former Detroit Institute for Children building is roughly 32,000 gross squared feet, comprising two stories and a basement.