The evolution of Michigan State University
’s Wells Hall began more than a century ago when a dormitory by that name was destroyed by fire and a second Wells Hall was constructed. After that location was demolished to make way for a library expansion in the 1960s, the present day Wells Hall was constructed on Red Cedar Road. Today, the building named after Hezekiah G. Wells has undergone another change in the form of a $37 million addition that brings all of the university’s language departments under one roof.
“It’s been quite a few years since the languages have been all together,” says Communications Director for MSU’s College of Arts and Letters
, Mike Jenkins. “The close proximity to the International Center, as well as the College of Education being right there too, will engender collaborations and opportunities to work together.”
The 88,000 square foot addition includes office, instructional and research space. The project added a new three-story atrium, three classrooms and language laboratories, and both private and open office environments intended to promote faculty and student interactions. A new Starbucks café has also opened in the facility.
“It’s a beautiful building,” Jenkins says. “It has some of the latest technologies in many areas. It’s an opportunity for faculty and the students to take a giant leap forward.”
The addition includes many environmentally sustainable elements, including a self-maintaining green roof and daylight-controlled window shades.
Planning for the Wells Hall project was initiated in September of 2008, construction began in September of 2010. A grand opening ceremony was held earlier this month.