Case Studies: Ilitch Business alum discusses evolution of WSU campus

Uprooting a brick house that is a campus landmark was not in his plans when Steven Pecic arrived at Wayne State University in 2006. Then again, neither was overseeing the entire facility’s operational portfolio and maintenance of the campus, or participating in the construction of the $65 million project that takes the place of the iconic house. “I never thought I’d be here so many years later,” he says. “I came to (WSU) in 2006 as an aspiring architect to get experience in a broad range of facility and customer and contractor engagement.” What Pecic got was a career caring for the older buildings and stewarding a new era for the school, first established in 1868 as the Detroit Medical College. “We run a virtual city and every variety of building one could imagine,” Pecic says of the 215 acres and 120 buildings on the Detroit campus. The new wave of construction encompasses more than the Hilberry Gateway Performance Complex. The school will also expand its science, technology, engineering, and math, facilities with the STEM Innovation Learning Center. The project, partially state-funded, will cost $49.5 million and renovates a 1970s science and engineering library into a state-of-the-art classroom building. In 2021, a new $25 million, 3,000-seat basketball arena is scheduled to open; it will be home to a Gatorade League professional team in partnership with the Detroit Pistons. The biggest new project, a public-private partnership known as P3, is in collaboration with Rhode Island-based Corvias for current and future student housing.

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