Regents OK Michigan golf clubhouse redesign

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
This is a rendering of the clubhouse design that was approved by UM Regents on Thursday.

Ann Arbor – Michigan will get a new golf course clubhouse after the architect's redesign was approved by the university Regents on Thursday.

The original design by Partners & Sirny Architects of the 23,000-square foot Richard Postma Family Clubhouse was rejected by the Regents two months ago. But the redesign, presented Thursday by architect Rick Christensen at the monthly Regents meeting, was unanimously approved.

Modifications were made to the exterior, including lowering what was a pitched roof to a flat roof, bringing down the scale of the construction. On the south side, brick was added -- as Christensen described during his presentation -- to break up "what looked more like an office building curtain wall. That's made some good difference."

Discussion of the proposed $15 million design was shelved after the Regents meeting two months ago. Among those who voted against the original design was Regent Larry Deitch.

Deitch was the first to respond after Christensen's presentation.

"Thank you for the revisions," Deitch said. "We really appreciate your responsiveness. This is a fantastic design as modified."

The existing clubhouse was built in 1950 and is outdated. The original request for the clubhouse was for $12 million, but that increased to $15 million, all of which will come from athletic department resources. The new budget also includes adjustments to Holes 1 and 10 of the U-M Golf Course.

Interim athletic director Jim Hackett attended the Regents meeting along with Chrissi Rawak, executive associate athletic director for external relations and strategic initiatives, and Rob Rademacher, senior associate athletic director for facilities and operations.

"I loved how the design got better because of the Regent overview," Hackett said after the redesign was approved. "It actually was a great example of this process. This review actually made the design better. I like it better, and they like it better."

Hackett said the expanded clubhouse will serve more than just the needs of golfers.

"Country clubs and golf courses are also community places, so this is a big spot for other things that go on at the University of Michigan, and we need that space badly," Hackett said.

It will be named for Richard and Ruth Postma, who recently made a $4 million gift. Construction is expected to begin in November and should be complete a year later.