Baker College to open $51 million downtown Royal Oak campus

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Baker College announced Monday it is building a campus in downtown Royal Oak.

The private nonprofit college is embarking on a $51 million project, which will include an 86,000-square-foot, seven-story building. It will be located at 420 S. Lafayette Ave., at the intersection of S. Lafayette and 5th Avenue, with the capability of accommodating 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The new campus is expected to open in the fall of 2022.

In recent years, Baker has closed campuses in Flint, Allen Park and Clinton Township and consolidated them into other nearby locations. The Auburn Hills campus will also soon close, and students will be consolidating into the Royal Oak location.

Construction of the new campus recently began and will feature flexible and connected classrooms, laboratories and interactive collaborative study and gathering spaces. On-site parking will also be available.

The former Baker College campus at 34401 S. Gratiot Ave. in Clinton Township.

“We have spent a great deal of time and effort on our journey to find the perfect new home for Baker College in Oakland County, and are confident that downtown Royal Oak offers everything we need, want and more,” said Jacqui Spicer, Baker College chief operating officer. 

The new location will be about two blocks from Oakland Community College's Royal Oak Campus, located on Washington Avenue. 

Megan Bonelli, a Baker College spokesperson, did not respond Monday to questions from The News.

Baker College offers 75 programs across its locations in Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Jackson, Muskegon and Owosso, in addition to its Culinary Institute of Michigan locations in Port Huron and Muskegon, and the Auto Diesel Institute in Owosso. Baker College also offers 40 academic programs online.

Its main campus in Owosso. 

Students attending the Royal Oak campus will be able to earn degrees in programs including business, information technology, nursing, education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, criminal justice, psychology and liberal arts.

"We applaud Baker College's investment in our downtown and look forward to welcoming its staff and students for many years to come," said Royal Oak Mayor Mike Fournier.