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      New John X. Jamrich Hall nearly completed

      Courtesy of Northern Michigan University

      The new Jamrich Hall at Northern Michigan University is nearly complete!

      The 133,000 square foot building, set in the center of NMU's campus, is scheduled to be completely finished by the end of this month.

      Sociology, English, Math, and Criminal Justice are the four academic departments the brand new facility will house.

      "From the start of design to completion of construction, it's been about four years. It's been a very rewarding project, it's a very exciting project, we're very proud of the end result. There has been a lot of work that's gone into this. Not only from our office, but from different folks across campus," said Jim Thams, Associate Director of Engineering & Planning.

      Construction of the new building began back in April 2013, and demolition of the old Jamrich Hall took place last month.

      Thams says all of the elements within the building have a purpose.

      He says the classrooms are specifically designed to support collaborative learning and modern technology.

      There's also updated space for faculty, which has allowed them to move to the academic core of campus.

      "It's an impressive facility, state-of-the-art technology, flexibility in terms of how active learning you can get inside the classrooms. There's a nice auditorium with nearly 500 seating capacity, so a lot of nice gathering spaces as well in addition to the Starbucks lounge," said Kristi Evans, News Director for Northern Michigan University.

      The auditorium will be used much like the older auditorium, but is more technologically advanced for teaching purposes.

      There are 24 classrooms in the new Jamrich Hall.

      In addition, there are seven informal learning centers scattered throughout the building. The purpose of the informal learning centers is to give students a place to complete some projects or hang out in-between classes.

      There's also another brand new addition to campus.

      The Heart of Northern.

      The old heart was right where the new building is now.

      It was a mound of earth decorated with flowers, which students used mostly for photo opportunities.

      "Now the heart is a hard-scaped piece of the landscape. It's a place where students can not only go for a photo-op, but it's a place that they can hang out and use," said Thams.

      The building is expected to be completely finished by the end of this month, and faculty will start moving in next week.

      Students will begin taking courses within the building when the fall semester starts.