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Madonna University breaks ground on $9 million welcome center in Livonia

Madonna University has broken ground on a $9 million welcome center for its Livonia campus.

Once finished, the 28,000-square-foot center will serve as a hub for recruiting students and celebrating the history of the Catholic liberal arts university, according to a news release. University leadership expects the building to be complete by mid-2021.

Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Madonna President Michael Grandillo, donors and others were scheduled to attend the Sunday groundbreaking event, the release said.

Inside the center will be a 4,300-square-foot wing called the Felician Sisters of North America Heritage Center and Archives. It will serve as a “highly interactive celebration” of the Felician Sisters — an apostolic congregation of religious women founded in the mid-1800s.

“It also provides an exploration of the countless ways that the Felician Sisters are continuing to make a difference today among the marginalized and those in need across the continent,” M. Christopher Moore, provincial minister for the Felician Sisters of North America, said in the release.

The welcome center will have a 400-capacity events room, art gallery, café and offices for university staff. Reading rooms and planters representing the eight former Felician Provinces and the university’s patron saint, Mary the Madonna, are also planned.

The center is being paid for through a university fundraiser that launched a year and a half ago and just finished its silent phase, university spokeswoman Karen Sanborn, said. About $6.2 million has been raised.

The project designer is Ohio-based MKC Architects, and the general contractor is Plymouth-based J.S. Vig Construction Co. The center’s design is inspired by the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, in Italy, the release said.

The new center will be the third new standalone building on Madonna’s campus since the Franciscan Center opened in 2009. The university also in the fall bought the Ladywood High School property next to the campus and plans to locate its music and forensic science programs there, as well as athletics, Hometown Life reported.

Construction of two new residential halls housing 155 students finished in the spring of 2018 in time for fall semester. It was announced in 2017 as the first phase of a five-year project. Previously announced long-range plans included constructing a Student Services/Welcome Center and Recreation Center.

Eighty-year-old Madonna University’s main campus is by I-96 and Levan Road. It also operates programs in Gaylord and Macomb, as well as online internationally. Its more than 100 undergrad and 35 grad programs are in nursing and health, arts and humanities, education and other fields.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on May 19, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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