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Michigan State University making progress on $34 million multicultural center

Posted at 10:05 AM, Jan 20, 2022

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Students at Michigan State University have been asking for years for a freestanding multicultural center, now they're finally getting one.

"The Multicultural Center Project really began 40 years ago and it's been something that our students of color, marginalized communities, and minoritized communities, have been asking for," said Vennie Gore, senior vice president of student life and engagement.

The students asked and the university finally answered.

MSU's leaders decided, if they were going to build an inclusive space, they wanted student opinion, so they conducted a feasibility study.

"From the study, we concluded that students are really looking for inclusive gathering hub, to build community to share ideas, to gather around things like food, and celebrate a different culture that exists on the Michigan State campus," said Tricia Beck, principal-in-charge for SmithGroup's Detroit office. MSU will be working with the design firm to bring their ideas to life

The university is planning a 40,000 square-foot building that will cost an estimated $34 million dollars.

"We have currently two sites. And the first thing we need to do is decide on which site. One is a renovation of the International Center. The second one is a freestanding site that's on the corner of Shaw, in Farm Lane," Gore said.

SmitGroup has worked on the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington, DC and other well-known projects.

"Our hope that this project brings a safe, comfortable environment of belonging for students on Michigan State's campus that celebrates the many cultures of all the people. So an inclusive gathering hub of community for ideas to be shared," Beck said.

The plan to have the design process complete by the end of the year and will then go to the board for authorization to proceed.

To learn more details and history about the project, click here.

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