The Lodge unveiled at NMU open house

By CHRISTIE BLECK

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — There was at least one place on the Northern Michigan University campus to warm up Friday during the cold and windy weather.

NMU President Fritz Erickson spoke to the crowd at an open house held at The Lodge, a new gathering spot on campus.

“This was all done as a public-private partnership,” Erickson said.

The Memphis-based firm EdR was involved with NMU in the building of new residential space.

“It’s important to remember that this is not the room for The Woods,” Erickson said about the residence hall. “This is The Lodge for the whole campus, and this is open all the time.”

Anybody is welcome to come in, sit, “hang out” and use the facility, he said.

Erickson also noted NMU will start holding events, such as lectures and musical performances, at The Lodge beginning in the fall.

“Wouldn’t it be great for a jazz combo to come in here and play, or other kinds of performance?” Erickson asked. “So, the idea is that this is a facility that’s for all of us to be used in a lot of different ways.”

Jeff Korpi, NMU director of housing and residence life, also attended the open house.

“The Lodge is considered NMU’s ‘family room,'” Korpi said. “It’s connected to our newest living facility, The Woods, and we’re really hoping this is a place where students and faculty and staff can come together and gather.”

Not only can programming take place at The Lodge, Korpi said it is the hope that students will engage with faculty and staff in the facility.

Planning for The Lodge began a little over two years ago, with construction starting about a year and a half ago, said Korpi, who added the residence replacement project so far has brought in 800 beds, with the last phase in August bringing in 400 more beds and other amenities, including a link that connects living space to the cafeteria.

The Lodge does have that “lodge” feel to it, including a fireplace, rustic chandeliers and decorations like an hourglass and world globe.

Korpi said NMU wanted to create something that isn’t on campus.

“Given our climate and, you know, our atmosphere up here, we just thought this type of aesthetic would go really well,” Korpi said.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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