Skip to main content
Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Cowles House - Addition 3 and site renovations

Project phase: Planning/Design

Project background

  • Cowles House was originally constructed in 1857 and has been the subject of periodic renovations. It was named the official residence of the President in 1941.
  • Although the current President does not use Cowles House as a primary residence, the facility hosts more than 150 events annually and serves as a guesthouse for dignitaries visiting the University.
  • The current configuration of Cowles House does not provide adequate space to properly support events, causing public areas to be used for staging and storage.
  • Further, the building has limited accessibility for persons with disabilities.
  • The upstairs residential space is essentially unchanged since renovations in 1950. The residential space is not separated from the events downstairs in a manner that allows that space to function as an independent apartment.

Project scope

  • Renovations and an addition to the first floor area to provide appropriate kitchen staging and storage areas
  • Demolition and reconstruction of the adjoining garage necessary to provide additional service space
  • Removal of the tree in the middle of the living room.
  • Modifcation and reconstruction of portions of the first floor public areas to increase event seating capacity and improve functionality
  • Providing accessibility to the first floor public areas including accessible restrooms
  • Modification of the outdoor area to provide terraces, accessibility and improved landscape
  • Upgrade of the interior finishes and furniture to reflect and integrate the building's mid-century design, in particular in the public reception areas.
  • Upgrade of the living/residential space on the second floor to provide appropriate accommodations for dignitaries and other guests
  • Construction of kitchen and staff spaces that more efficiently handle event volume and capacity.

Budget

  • $6 million including a $600,000 contingency
  • The project will be funded by a combination of gifts, general fund - Reserve Barrier-Free Access, Jenison Trust, Infrastructure Reserve and/or financing with debt repayment from the sources noted.

Schedule

  • Construction start: May 2019
  • Ready for occupancy: February 2020

Questions, concerns, comments?

CP17186

Construction Junction progress update

December 2018