Ruthven Project


About the Project

In December 2018, the Board of Regents approved the schematic design and authorization for construction to the Central Campus Classroom Building and Alexander G. Ruthven Building renovation. This project will create a new complex on Central Campus that co-locates teaching, research, and administrative space. We are truly excited that our new administrative home will be a part of a complex that fosters interaction between faculty, staff, and students.

The original Ruthven building (click for map) was designed by notable architect Albert Kahn and constructed in 1928. This strategic reuse of a historic U-M facility for multi-purpose workspaces equipped with modern amenities and full accessibility aligns with the university’s priorities on environmental sustainability and waste reduction. The renovated facility will also be used to conduct both formal and informal meetings of the Board of Regents.

The Central Campus Classroom Building will be built adjacent to the original 1928 Ruthven building. The classroom building will house 1,400 classroom seats and provide flexible, state-of-the-art spaces to support innovative and engaged teaching methods and diverse learning styles for years to come. The building will include a 550-seat auditorium, a 200-seat classroom "in the round", and other large classrooms with approximately 130-150 seats that support interactive and team-based learning.

Fleming staff are currently scheduled to move to the Ruthven building in the Fall of 2021. The Fleming Building is slated to be taken down sometime after the transition is complete.

For more details on the project refer to:

To learn more about the history of the Ruthven building and President Ruthven, take a look at The Unplanned Presidency from LSA Magazine (Fall 2010 article).

Images and Renderings

Historic photo of Ruthven building

Historic photo of Ruthven building

Historic photo of Ruthven rotunda

Historic photo of Ruthven rotunda

Modern view of Ruthven

Modern view of Ruthven

Modern view of Rotunda

Modern view of Rotunda

Rendering of the new Central Campus Classroom Building

Rendering of the new Central Campus Classroom Building

Ruthven Design Highlights

The Ruthven design takes into account the following considerations for future administrative spaces:

  • Consistency, modularity, efficiency, and future flexibility (for 2021 and beyond)
  • Coordinated look and welcoming feel
  • Shared operations and spaces
  • Sustainable practices
  • Consistent AV
  • Improved security
  • Maximized natural light
  • Alignment with campus office space guidelines

Project Timeline

LSA finishes vacating Ruthven December 2018
Construction fences and trailers go up January 2019
Pre-construction work and demolition of existing Ruthven addition Early 2019
Construction Summer 2019 to Fall 2021
Move-in Mid to Late Fall 2021
Classes begin in new classroom building Winter 2022

Construction Cameras

Our Project Team and Supporting Groups

  • Project Owner
    • Mark S. Schlissel, President
  • Facility Planning Committee
    • Hank Baier, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations
    • Liz Barry, Special Counsel to the President
    • Sally Churchill, Vice President and Secretary of the University
    • Amy Dittmar, Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs
    • Frances Mueller, Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs
    • Fadi Musleh, Project Senior Manager (Office of the Provost)
    • Steve Yaros, Project Intermediate Manager (Office of the President)

U-M Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Fleming/Ruthven Business Operations Transition Work Group

For any questions about this project and our eventual move from Fleming to Ruthven, please contact Fadi Musleh ( and Steve Yaros (

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Future Building Occupants

What will the transportation and parking options be?

There are several options for parking in the area, including structures at Palmer Commons, Church Street, and South Forest Avenue. On-campus transportation such as Blue Busses and the AATA Bus Line are available at little to no cost as well, with the Central Campus Transit Center immediately adjacent to the building. To explore the options, visit the U-M Logistics, Transportation & Parking website.

What are the dining and food options near Ruthven?

Ruthven is just steps away from coffee shops / cafes in the Biological Sciences Building (Darwin’s) and Dentistry (Cafe 32) --- both next door to our future building. A few more steps away is the Michigan League, home to Maizie’s Kitchen and Market, which offers freshly made meals, sandwiches, salads, and much more. Also nearby is Palmers Commons’ Fields Cafe which has a number of drinks, sandwiches, and other hot meal options. For a more detailed information on these on-campus food options and to see menus, take a look at the M-Dining website.

Off-campus food options are also quite plentiful. A short walk down North University brings you to South State Street which holds many of Ann Arbor’s staple restaurants and additional to-go options. Similarly, a short walk down Church Street brings you to the South University corridor which features numerous restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops.

What can be done by Fleming Building occupants now to prepare for the move?

Though it may not seem like it, the relocation will be here sooner than you think. It’s never too early to prepare. Below are a few ways in which Fleming Building occupants are encouraged to get ready for the transition:

Records Retention and Purging Paper: In order to minimize paper and digital file transfer, audit personal files by consulting the Standard Practice Guide and Bentley Historical Library to determine what needs to be saved. Delete or shred the rest. If the information is highly sensitive, consider making the audit an office-wide activity and rent a few locked shred bins for the day.

Brainstorm New Parking/Transportation Habits: A new work location will result in a new work commute. Take some time to scout out Ruthven’s surrounding areas and how it relates to your usual route in and out of Ann Arbor. Considering new routes or how to work local transportation into your existing commute will help keep logistics simple after relocating.

Don’t worry about these things yet: Phones, copiers, conference room technology (A/V), computers, furniture, and the move logistics. The Fleming/Ruthven Business Operations Transition Work Group will assist in communicating the process between now and move-in.

Contact Information

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact the following individuals:

  • Fadi Musleh, Project Senior Manager, Office of the Provost (
  • Steve Yaros, Project Intermediate Manager, Office of the President (
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