Wayne State University
The '70s called. It wants its student center back.

The Project

Exciting changes have been made to Wayne State University’s Student Center. Nearly 100,000 square feet of space was renovated to provide a more modern, expansive and student-friendly atmosphere. The 45-year-old Student Center was in need of upgrades to accommodate the increase in students, activities and residents currently living on and near campus.

Construction took place in two phases, starting in May 2014 and ending July 2015. You can take a look here at some of the updates and progress made as we moved through the construction process.

This is just one more example of Wayne State’s commitment to improving campus life and enhancing the student experience. So come take a look. You’re going to love the changes!


The new Wayne State University Student Center is the latest exciting step forward in supporting and extending our dynamic and diverse campus community. At the completion of this renovation in July 2015, the Student Center will be the new “living room” of the campus, providing exciting venues for student learning with state-of-the-art services and facilities that our students, faculty and staff need and deserve. 

Some of the new venues include: student organization and leadership collaboration spaces; modern meeting, conference and banquet facilities; a new food court and additional dining venues; and new gaming and recreation destinations. These will complement important student services that are already in place at the Student Center, like Campus Information Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Dean of Students Office, Housing and Residential Life, Testing and Evaluation Center and Universe IT technology support services.


  • Interior
  • Atrium
  • Exterior


  • A redesigned food court featuring several new food options, including Panda Express and Starbucks.
  • A new atrium on the building's south end providing light and additional space.
  • A new grand ballroom, perfect for holding large-scale university events.
  • A state-of-the-art student organization collaboration center on the third floor.
  • Two new feature staircases allowing better flow throughout the building.
  • A lower-level activity zone offering a variety of recreational spaces, dance practice rooms, food services and lounge spaces.
  • Additional meeting and multipurpose rooms allowing more flexibility to student organizations' needs for reservable space.
  • Increased square footage to provide more locations for students to lounge, study and engage.
  • Relocated and redesigned areas for the Dean of Students Office, Student Center Administration and Universe IT.

Floor Plans

  • Lower level

    Lower level
  • First floor

    First floor
  • Second floor

    Second floor
  • Third floor

    Third floor


What is the timeline of the renovation?

Some construction has already started. Full-scale construction on the building’s north end will begin in early May 2014. Construction on the building's south end will begin in December 2014. The project is expected to be completed in July 2015. 

How will this impact the student experience?

The Student Center renovation is centered around transforming the student experience on campus. Through student feedback and by evaluating current use, much planning and work has been done to make the new Student Center more accommodating to student needs. Just a few of the new additions include: state-of-the-art meeting rooms, more natural light, and creative new spaces where students can take a break and have fun.

What exactly will be renovated?

The lower level through the third floor will be completely redesigned and rebuilt. During summer 2014 the sixth-floor offices for Hillel, Testing and Evaluation, and the Veteran's Resource Center will also be renovated.

How much is the renovation going to cost?

The budget for the renovation is $26.5 million.

How will the cost of the renovation be paid?

The renovation will be paid for through a mix of new university borrowing, student service fees and philanthropic gifts.

Will there still be ATMs and will they be placed together?

Yes; ATMs will remain in the building during construction and after completion. There will be Michigan First ATMs located in the Michigan First location. Other ATMs will be together and centrally located in the building. 

Will there still be a OneCard machine?

Yes; a OneCard Self Service Center will be located near the ATMs in a central location.

What will the food options be?

The new food court on the north end of the main floor will include Panda Express, Taco Bell, and Starbucks. The existing Bene Pizza and Grillworks will be relocated to a new venue in the lower level opposite a student gaming and recreation area. WSU Dining Services' late-night option will continue to be served in this new lower-level location.

Will there be new hours?

Yes; we expect there will be lots of new activity and demand for increased hours in the Student Center each week.

Will there be more rooms to hold events and/or meetings for student organizations?

Yes; multipurpose rooms have been added and will feature state-of-the-art technology. The existing rooms have been redesigned to accommodate students’ needs and will include the addition of multimedia technology.

Will there still be showcases?

Currently, the designs do not include showcase space, but feature new ways for students to advertise their events and organizations.

Will there be space to allow for student activities, such as bake sales?

Yes; there will be a designated area to host bake sales and similar activities.

Will there be open study lounges?

Yes; the renovated Student Center will include multiple spaces for students to study and work in a relaxed environment.

Will there be banner space?

Currently, the designs do not include banner space, but feature new ways for students to advertise their events and organizations.

Where will there be open reservation space during renovation?

Yes; during each phase of the renovation there will be limited reservation space. 

How will the new construction increase traffic?

The building is being renovated with students in mind, giving them new spaces to unwind and refreshing the spaces they use today. By adding more space, more dining options and new activities, it’s expected that more students will use the building as a place to socialize, study, dine and hang out when not attending class.

Will there be an activity space (pool tables, ping-pong tables, etc.)?

Yes; the redesigned Student Center will have recreational space for students to play games such as pool and ping-pong.

Will there be more windows?

The renovation will drastically improve the natural lighting in the building. Several new window locations will be added.  

Will there be a computer lab for students/guests to use?

There will not be a computer lab, but our meeting rooms will be equipped with multimedia technology. Students will be able to bring their own devices and connect to a building-wide wireless network.

Will the bathrooms be renovated?


Will there be more practice space (for dance groups, etc.)?

Yes, there will be more space for practice and other activities. Rooms have been designed to be flexible and accommodate a variety of uses. 

Will the new ballroom hold more people?

Yes; the ballroom will be expanded and the ceilings will be raised. The ballroom will be a great space to host a large-scale event.

Will the elevators be improved or replaced?

The renovation includes two elevator projects. The elevators on the building’s north end  are slated to be replaced starting in March 2014.  An additional elevator will also be added on the building’s south end.  

What is going to happen to the paper airplanes?

To honor the history of the paper airplanes, a tile of the ceiling will be saved and put on display in the new student center. The rest of the paper airplanes will be removed during the renovation.

Will the building be LEED certified after the renovation?

The renovation will be accomplished using sustainable design and construction methods now standard across the industry.  Because the renovation is partial (i.e. no work being done on floors four, five or seven), the university is not applying for LEED certification for this work. 

Contact Us

135 Student Center
5221 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-4585