New Construction

MSU Reveals Design for Multicultural Center

Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, recently released the design concept for its new Multicultural Center, according to a press release. The 34,000-square-foot facility will be located in the middle of campus and be the first independent building of its kind on campus. The university partnered with SmithGroup for its design, and groundbreaking is expected to take place this spring.

Features are set to include office space for the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students and the Council of Progressive Students; the Dreamer Center, which supports undocumented students; collaboration spaces, an art gallery wall; a resource center; and an outdoor amphitheater facing the nearby Red Cedar River.

“The new MSU Multicultural Center will be a sanctuary for all minorities and provides opportunities to celebrate and acknowledge our collective histories,” said SmithGroup Design Principal Monteil Crawley. “It empowers people to learn about who we are today and allows others to overcome their fear of what they don’t understand or haven’t experienced. The center aims to educate all on the richness of multiculturalism.”

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized the university to move forward with construction plans during its February 2023 meeting. The press release notes that the new facility aligns with MSU’s DEI Strategic Plan and bolsters efforts to increase diversity on campus. Students and community stakeholders were given the chance to provide input and feedback on the building and its design during multiple community engagement sessions with SmithGroup.

“For students to succeed beyond the walls of an institution, it is essential to build a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Tricia Beck, Vice President and Higher Education Studio Leader with the Detroit office of SmithGroup. “Michigan State University’s new multicultural center strives to create a welcoming environment that encourages the acceptance and expression of all genders, races, religions, abilities, and cultures.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].