Ann Arbor Area Community News
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about a conference center in downtown Ann Arbor. Although there are several places to have a meeting, there really isn’t much that really fits the conference center description, especially downtown.
In addition to published reports, rumors have swirled over the years that Bill Martin wants to build a conference center on the Brown Block, but nothing has come of that so far. More recently, there was a lot of interest over plans released for a local conference center.
As so often happens in Ann Arbor, reception to the idea of a conference center has been mixed, with people vehemently in the pro and con camps. I have heard people say they think it is the worst possible thing that could happen to downtown, while others say it is the best possible way to keep downtown viable. Reaction is so mixed that one wonders if some people are thinking of a large industrial convention center like Cobo Hall or DeVos Place while others are thinking of a smaller hotel and conference center like the Fort Shelby in Detroit or the beautiful St. Julien in Boulder (built over a 650-space public underground parking structure).
Of course, left out of much of the discussion is the plans of the University. Currently, the University has some conference space, but only 21 rooms . The other Big 10 schools have at least one hotel and conference center or several hotels within walking distance of campus. The University has lots of land and infrastructure on North Campus and married student housing is not doing well. Even if the U doesn’t want to build their own hotel, there are several hotel chains that might be willing to fund much of the building costs for an on-campus conference center. Needless to say, if they do build their own conference center, the City will not benefit anywhere nearly as much as if a conference center was built on city-owned land.
So what do you think? Does Ann Arbor need a conference center? Should it be downtown? Should the University build their own? If there is a conference center, what would you like to see be part of it? If you are opposed to it, why? If you are for it, why?
Seven bus routes are on detour.
From the annual press release + maps:
The University of Michigan and City of Ann Arbor Move-In Task Force, preparing for another large freshman class, has set the main Fall Move-In days of Tuesday, August 26 through Friday, August 29, for new and returning students.
Photo: Bucket train of move-in makers (students who move in early to help move others in) from F2007.
As an alternative (or a complement) to a traditional study abroad program, the University of Michigan is now coordinating an undergraduate semester in Detroit program. The program plans to send the first group of 20-25 students in Winter 2009.
Organized internships at local community service and arts organizations will be a core part of the program, along with classes taught at the University’s Detroit Center. Students who participate will be living in a Wayne State dorm, not a Detroit neighborhood.
It seems to me that many of us UM undergraduates don’t spend a semester in Ann Arbor.
AATA has announced route changes to take effect 23 January that will increase service to and from the campus area. A new route, 9U, will connect Central Campus to the Maple Village area, and several routes connecting Central Campus to the Medical and North Campuses, to park-and-ride lots, and to Ypsilanti will be given more direct routes, more frequent service, and, in some cases, earlier morning routes and later evening routes.
More people are riding the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s buses.
The University Record announces the U-M and AATA agreement which was tipped to this site last week. The Record article provides few new details, but features a host of happy-talk quotations from the directors of the University’s Parking and Transportation Services and of the AATA.
On August 1, 2004, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) will be launching a swell “Unlimited Access” program.
From a ‘facts sheet’ given to the Arbor Update Gaggle by an anonymous tipster:
It’s my understanding that this program will be officially announced on Monday, July 26, 2004. Accords to the facts sheet, “marketing and promotional efforts” are in the works, as is a “survey of participating and non-participating U-M students, staff and faculty during the fall semester to gauge customer acceptance.”
We’ll publish more details on this site as they become available. (Anonymous tipster: if you’re reading this, you have our thanks!)
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