Skip to main content
Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Wells hall rendering with black silhouettes

Wells Hall Addition/Morrill Hall Replacement

Project phase: Archived

In June 2010, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved a plan to demolish venerable Morrill Hall on the campus’s north side. To provide space for current Morrill Hall occupants, the plan includes an addition to Wells Hall and renovations to the Old Horticulture Building.

Close monitoring of the internal wooden structure of Morrill Hall has revealed irreparable deterioration, indicating that the more-than-100-year-old building is approaching the end of its useful life. The university has determined that reconstruction and restoration of the building, which was built in 1900, would not be economically feasible.

The replacement of Morrill Hall will offer the university a unique opportunity to significantly upgrade the quality of space for its current occupants, and to achieve a more efficient use of space through effective design and allocation.

The departments of English and History currently occupy the majority of space in Morrill Hall. The project will create a language hub at Wells Hall including English; Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages; Spanish and Portuguese; English Language Center; and French, Classics and Italian – and place these units in proximity to colleagues in the College of Education and International Studies Programs. Religious Studies and African American African studies also will relocate to Wells Hall. The ultimate goal is to create cohesive and vibrant communities for students, faculty and staff.

History will relocate to Old Horticulture in total and maintain its north campus location. Renovations to Old Horticulture are planned as part of this project to accommodate the relocated History department.

This project will also include a green roof on the one-story addition, a new and visible east-west entrance to Wells Hall, removal of on-street parking, creation of adjacent barrier-free parking and street realignment and widening.

Demolition of Morrill Hall will follow the completion of the Wells Hall Addition. The work scope currently involves demolition of structure, site-restoration with lawn, sidewalks, benches and commemorative signage. As the demolition and site plan details are further developed, opportunities for site restoration will be explored, including ways to commemorate the significance of the Morrill Act and potentially using pieces of the Morrill Hall building.

Originally opened in 1900, Morrill Hall is named in honor of Justin Smith Morrill, the Vermont senator for whom the Morrill Act is named and what brought about the establishment of the land-grant university. The Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. For the past 110 years, Morrill Hall has served MSU well, originally as a women’s residence hall.


  • Construction of the Wells Hall B-Wing Addition began in September 2010 and will continue through 2012
  • Renovations to the Wells Hall A-Wing and Old Horticulture Building are planned to begin in August 2012, with substantial completion in December 2012
  • The anticipated demolition of Morrill Hall is in early 2013
  • Final completion for the entire project, including site restoration for the Morrill Hall is site, is expected by June 2014

Impacts to building users, pedestrians, bikers, motorists:

  • As construction progresses, there will be disruptions and detours to pedestrians, bikers and motorists around Wells Hall and Morrill Hall
  • The project will provide a new elevation to Wells Hall on Red Cedar Road and create a new east-west corridor to allow pedestrians to move from the west Red Cedar Road side to People's Park at the east side of the new addition

Questions, comments, concerns?

Design Representative

Construction Representative


Virtual tour

To see the completed project from the comfort of your home or office, check out the virtual tour.