Jamrich Hall Opens
NMU students will be greeted by a new classroom facility when they return for the fall semester. As the original and outdated John X. Jamrich Hall was being demolished this summer, crews completed work on the new building that carries the same name. Planning for the $33.4 million project began in 2009 with the goal of “providing an efficient, state-of-the-art facility that improves academic delivery, maximizes building use and reduces overall operational and maintenance costs.”
The result is a 133,000 square foot mixed-use building with 24 high-tech classrooms and seven informal learning spaces designed to support collaborative learning and be highly adaptable to changing technologies and teaching methods. The largest space is a 500-seat lecture hall/auditorium that can be used for instruction, movie showings, prominent speakers and other special events. Academic departments that have moved to Jamrich are sociology and anthropology, social work, mathematics and computer science, criminal justice and English. Starbucks has also relocated there. NMU has registered the project with the U.S. Green Building Council and is seeking “LEED Silver” certification.
During his Wednesday convocation, President Fritz Erickson referenced the building as an example of NMU excellence. “The time and care that went into making this a powerful vehicle of learning does not go unnoticed,” he said.
The exterior of Jamrich facing the academic mall features a clock tower above the main entrance and a revamped “Heart of Northern” constructed of brick from the former Longyear Hall. The heart has a long history at NMU, according to the university encyclopedia compiled by Russell Magnaghi (History). In the 1920s, it was the site for “first kisses of coeds,” engagements, weddings, pinnings, May festivals and band concerts. Interest languished and part of the heart was later demolished. It was reproduced in the 1990s as a raised, landscaped mound near the former Jamrich building before its latest incarnation.
A dedication of the new John X. Jamrich Hall is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 (details will be announced in a future issue of CAMPUS).