After 65 years as a hub for students, the Bernhard Center in West Michigan will be demolished

KALAMAZOO, MI — For many students, the John T. Bernhard Center has been the heart of the Western Michigan University campus for more than six decades.

With a shiny new student center nearing completion, the 65-year-old Bernhard Center will soon see bulldozers heading its way.

WMU is currently building the new student centerslated to open this fall, and plans to tear down the Bernhard Center, university spokeswoman Paula Davis said.

According to university facilities management departmentthe Bernhard Center is scheduled to be razed in 2022. Davis said demolition will begin once the transition to the new student center is complete.

The new student center is a three-story, 162,000 square foot building with restaurants, shops, gathering spaces, lounges, and even an on-campus brewery. The center is expected to open to students this fall.

The new student center includes a dining center with eight micro-restaurants with cuisines ranging from traditional selections to international selections, the university said. The center will also include a Starbucks location, Mi Pi’s personal pizzas, Fuego Verde Latin restaurant and Re-Fresh Market for take-out options.

Along with a wide selection of food and beverages, the center will also include the campus bookstore, a PNC bank branch, a FedEx shipping and printing store, the admissions welcome center, a commuter resource center , a bedroom for parents, a games room, 12 meeting rooms, a student art gallery, seven lounge areas and a meditation room.

Currently serving as WMU’s student center, the Bernhard Center also houses a dining hall, computer lab, Bronco Shopping Center, Student Organization Center, Bronco Identification Office, and Bookstore, which was previously a bowling open to Bernhard Center students. lower level.

The Bernhard Center was built in 1957. The three-story building measures approximately 239,464 square feet in total, according to FMU Facility Records.

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