BY E. ZWIEBACK
DEARBORN, MI – On Monday September 24th, University and City officials gathered to break ground on the new “The Union at Dearborn” student housing project.
This historic day saw the likes of Chancellor Daniel Little, Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly, and Student Government President Dennis Lienhardt get “down and dirty” in business suits and hard hats, shoveling heaps of dirt into the air amidst rounds of enthusiastic applause.
“[This is] about a new kind of university experience,” said Chancellor Little of the project, whose completion and grand opening are predicted to occur in Fall 2013.
The luxury student dorms are expected to be an extension of the University Center, and to have a positive transformative effect on student engagement at UM-Dearborn.
After four years of planning and financing the project, Monday’s groundbreaking was a time to celebrate the team’s ability to overcome a number of challenges in that time. A new and unprecedented challenge, however, marred the excitement of the day.
“I was caught in the moment of things,” recalled Lienhardt. “I was shoveling the dirt, and I think in my enthusiasm I plunged the shovel a little too forcefully into the ground.”
“He hit something solid,” said the Chancellor, “and we heard a loud clang.”
The company supervising the construction, Urban Campus Communities (UCC), believed it was a rock at first. However, after more digging and as dirt was pushed aside, the horrifying reality was exposed.
“It-it was a, a coffin,” cried Lienhardt, his voice breaking, “I hit a sarcophagus!”
It was the first of many coffins revealed that day at the site, and the press conference was quickly brought to an end. The University’s anthropologists were rushed out to examine the area. They’ve since confirmed that the student housing was planned to be built above an ancient burial ground, the resting place for a distant era’s aristocratic upper class.
“We knew the previous buildings were on the verge of obsolescence,” commented one of the developers who wished to remain anonymous. “Now we know the real reason why.”
The University is consulting experts from every corner of the world to ensure that construction of The Union goes as smoothly as possible. Thus far, they’ve been able to decipher a single ancient message carved into the lids of more than half of the sarcophagi.
“It looks like we’ll have to sacrifice a UM-Dearborn student each year to continue to be granted access to the site,” explained anthropology Professor Brian McKenna. “That’ll probably be one of the freshmen.” At this point, the University plans to continue work on this housing project.
“I mean, how many universities can say their dorms are truly haunted?” asked Lienhardt.