University of Detroit Mercy to open Novi campus; first outside Detroit

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The University of Detroit Mercy will open a new branch campus in Novi, marking the first time in its 100-year-plus history it has done so outside Detroit.

Site in Novi of planned new campus for University of Detroit Mercy. (Photo: Google Maps)

The private nonprofit university has bought the former home of South University, a private for-profit chain headquartered in Georgia.

The move isn’t a signal UDM is looking to get out of Detroit, but rather a chance to get a building already set up for the type of spaces it will need as it launches new health-related programs of study, its president told the Free Press.

“We’re not leaving the city of Detroit,” UDM President Antoine Garibaldi said. “This (building) just checked off all the boxes. It was really tough to decide to go outside of the city of Detroit. There just weren’t the right locations in the city of Detroit.”

 The new 40,0000-square-foot facility is at the intersection of 12 Mile and Meadowbrook roads. It comes with classrooms, offices and everything UDM needs to jump right in, including a parking lot with about 250 spaces, Garibaldi said.

In it will go programs for various health profession sections. It also will allow UDM to start some new programs.

The university is seeing high demand in health care related fields, including a master’s of nursing aimed at people with a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing who want to become a nurse. That program could start this winter, but has already had nearly 100 people inquire about it.

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The university is also in discussion with health care partners regarding prospective new graduate programs and also expects to offer professional development programs, including continuing dental education, at the new campus. 

The school isn’t disregarding its main campus.

In February, just two months after completing the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history and exceeding its $100-million goal by $15 million, UDM announced a McNichols Campus renovation that will significantly transform it. That campus in northwest Detroit was originally acquired in 1922 by Jesuit President the Rev. John McNichols. The project will begin in mid-November with a revitalization and expansion of the student union.

In August, following an 18-month renovation effort, the School of Dentistry’s new entrance opened to patients as well. This upgrade features a three-story glass atrium, terrazzo floor and four stained glass panels from the chapel built in 1941 on Mercy College of Detroit’s campus. 

Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj. Subscribe to the Detroit Free Press.

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