Kettering University breaks ground on $63m academic hub on campus


Kettering University, a Flint, Michigan-based university, has broken ground on a new multi-use facility that will serve as an academic hub of the campus.

Estimated to cost $63m, the four-storey building goes by the name Learning Commons.

The new building was designed by architectural firm Stantec, which based its design on open-concept, natural lighting. The concepts were part of the University’s Boldly Forward strategic initiative campaign.

The building will include a digital library, a 300-seat auditorium, dining facilities with open food court along with Battenberg Café, media resource centres and multiple workers spaces that focus on mobility, artificial intelligence and collaboration between students, faculty and industry.

To be built by Michigan-based Clark Construction, the building is expected to be completed by the spring of 2022.

Kettering University president Robert McMahan said: “This new facility represents a watershed investment in Kettering’s students, faculty, staff and the Flint community.

“Investments like the ones we are making have a host of far-reaching implications – first and foremost, to our students. Through these investments we boldly affirm our commitment to providing an academic environment that remains unrivalled anywhere in the country.”

At the groundbreaking ceremony, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation had granted $12.5m to the University for building the Learning Commons and intends to provide an additional $12.5m based on the project’s progress.

Kettering University advancement and external relations vice president Susan Davies said: “When we launched the Boldly Forward campaign in June 2019, it was truly a bold venture.

“But the University’s priority was to make the Learning Commons a reality. And now less than a year later and thanks to the generosity and support of alumni, donors, the local community, friends and many others, this is a reality.

“What an exciting and perfect way for our students, staff and faculty to embrace the next century and the future of Kettering.”

In 2018, the university had built the Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center, a 21-acre research facility that includes a 3.25-acre customisable all-weather test pad built to race track performance specifications.


Image: Kettering University officials along with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation president and CEO Ridgway White and the City of Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. (Credit: Kettering University.)

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