May 7, 2019

Board of Governors approves new basketball arena, campus building improvements, endowments

The Wayne State University Board of Governors approved a measure to make improvements to the two existing elevators in State Hall, one of the most-used classroom buildings on main campus.

Wayne State’s Board of Governors approved measures during its regular May 1 meeting ranging from a new basketball arena, State Hall and Social Work building improvements, and the establishment of endowments.

New basketball arena

Wayne State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are scheduled to play in a new basketball arena in the 2021-22 basketball season. Following the Board of Governors approval, a media briefing was held announcing plans for the construction of a $25 million, 70,000-square-foot facility near the intersection of Warren and Trumbull avenues. The arena will include seating capacity for approximately 3,000 fans, office space and locker room areas for WSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, a concession area, and other ancillary spaces.

State Hall elevator improvements

State Hall, one of the most-used classroom buildings on the main campus, was built in 1949 and expanded in 1956. The five-story facility, located at 5143 Cass Avenue, currently has two existing elevators that are original to the construction of the building. The 63-year-old equipment is prone to failure and not properly sized for today’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The proposed improvements will be completed in two phases: First, the two existing elevators will be fully refurbished with new machinery, controllers and finishes. Second, a new ADA-compliant elevator shaft and elevator will be added. The improvements include modifications to interior spaces and the mechanical and electrical systems.
When possible, classes on the upper floors will be moved out of State Hall during the improvement process to more accessible spaces elsewhere on campus for the 2019-20 academic year. Classes scheduled on the first floor will continue to be held there.  

Social Work Building phase 2 renovation

In 2012, Wayne State acquired the Detroit Institute for Children building located at 5447 Woodward Avenue to house the School of Social Work. A substantial renovation was undertaken for three-quarters of the building, including a roof replacement. The second phase will complete building renovations and provide flexible meeting space, classrooms and offices. In addition, restrooms will be updated to meet current building code and ADA requirements, and all windows in the building will be replaced with modern, energy-efficient windows.

Endowments established

Other board action included the establishment of nine endowments totaling more than $2.5 million. Among the new endowments were:

  • Rose J. Malinowski Endowed Fund for Ophthalmic Research and Care – $2,097,000
  • Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation Endowed Fund for Support of the Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center - $200,000.