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Northwood dedicates $3.5M Mall Walk Improvement Project

May 26, 2022

Aimed at preventing future campus flooding; improving campus and community connection

Inclement weather did not dampen spirits at Northwood University Wednesday, where the community celebrated the completion of its Mall Walk Improvement and Flood Mitigation Project.

The new development incorporates underground infrastructure to protect the campus year-round from flooding and groundwater while providing a plaza at the heart of campus for the Midland and Northwood University campus communities to connect.

“Like nearly all things in life, it is what’s beneath the surface that counts,” stated Justin Marshall, vice president of advancement and business development for Northwood University. “Underneath the beauty of the landscaping, exists an underground engineering solution that protects Northwood from future flooding, and provides year-round protection against water intrusion, stormwater and other water events that in the past have quietly and persistently attacked the structures of our core academic facilities.”

Critical academic spaces that will be protected from future water intrusion as a result of this project include the Strosacker Learning Commons and Library, Jordan Academic Hall, and Griswold Communications Center.

The project was funded through the generosity of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and more than 250 individual donors. No public funds were used.

Northwood President Kent MacDonald thanked the donors for their investment. He noted Northwood is committed to raising funds to finance projects, as opposed to taking on new debt. The university remains debt free.

Other elements of the Mall Walk Improvement Project include enhanced electrical capabilities; improved landscaping; and a new fountain, firepit and walking paths, all establishing Northwood’s iconic Lincoln statue as a destination on campus.

“There is no doubt in my mind, that this new feature of campus will build student life, attract new students and families who will make Midland their home, protect our beautiful Alden B. Dow-designed buildings, and provide a space for community members to enjoy informally, or even more formally through high school graduation parties, weddings and receptions, and signature events like Auto Show or larger outdoor community events,” Marshall stated.

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