Oakland University Statement:

In light of the video released by a group of students, Oakland University is announcing a proposed construction project ahead of schedule. While not approved yet by the board of trustees, plans are underway to repurpose, renovate and expand existing tunnels on campus. The item will be moved onto the board’s formal session agenda today.

More information about the rehab project will be posted as it becomes available. In the tabs below, learn more about the project that will connect Oakland’s past with its future.

Safety notice:

As with any construction project, the utmost safety precautions must be taken. It is in your best interest to not attempt to locate tunnel entrances. Also, do not dig for tunnel entrances.
The Legend
Underground tunnels have long been a myth and legend at Oakland University. Throughout the decades, students have claimed they've once snuck down into them — or heard of somebody who has.

The tunnels haven’t been spoken of openly in the campus community for decades. But the legend has lived on through the stories. Ask anybody on campus, an alum, or an emeritus faculty member. Everybody has a different version of where they are actually located, what they were used for, and if they even still exist.

We interviewed Oakland University alumnus Jim Wolfe, CAS ‘64, to document this mysterious piece of OU’s past with a testimonial from one of OU’s first students.

The History
In preparing for the renovation project, Oakland University looked within for experts who would be able to provide context to the original purpose and uses of the tunnels. The university will be ensuring historical preservation and full documentation of the project. To achieve this, an advisory committee will be formed to represent all of the schools and the College, as well as each major business unit on campus. Students, alums and community members will also be represented on the advisory committee.

To volunteer for the committee, please complete this form.

Below are preliminary interviews with two of OU’s top experts in this area:

Paul Kubicek, professor of political science, teaches courses in international relations, particularly in Soviet and post-Soviet politics.

Daniel Clark, associate professor of history, teaches courses on U.S. Labor and Cold War America as well as graduate and undergraduate research seminars. His research focuses on autoworkers in the metropolitan Detroit region in the 1950s.
Future Uses
Plans to revive Oakland University’s current tunnel system, which originated in 1957, are underway. The included map details possible additions and renovations. Architectural renderings and finalized blueprints to follow; pending proposals from a to-be-selected construction company.

Some of the highlights include: 
  • A grant-funded program through the School of Engineering and Computer Science will bring a Segway rental system to the tunnels
  • Study areas for super quiet and distraction-free studying
  • Classroom spaces and research opportunities (the Post-Apocalyptic Studies program will be primarily offered in these new learning spaces)
  • Dining options so you won't need to resurface to refuel

tunnel map

*Segways are offered – for free – on a first-come, first-served basis. Students, faculty and staff who wish to utilize the Segway program must first complete a mandatory, one-time (30-minute) training session before their GrizzCard will be activated for rental. A helmet is distributed with each Segway rental, and must be worn at all times during transportation. After swiping an active GrizzCard, the rental period begins. Rental periods are 1 hour long, after which a unit must be returned to ANY of the rental stations located throughout the tunnel system. Failure to return the issued Segway, or the return of a damaged Segway will result in fines.

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About Oakland University

Explore an academic and social environment unlike any other. Where opportunity soars and over-achievers thrive. Where dreamers become leaders, and the dedicated become empowered. Welcome to Oakland University, where the aspiring can rise.

A doctoral, research intensive university, OU offers more than 130 bachelor's degrees and 125 graduate and certificate programs. More than 20,000 students just like you shine with opportunities to conduct research, study abroad, compete in Division I athletics, lead student orgs, perform on the stage, land internships, and learn without limits.

more than 19,000 enrolled students for fall 2017
more than 140 bachelor's degree programs
more than 130 doctoral, master's degree and certificate programs
percent increase in overall enrollment growth over the past decade
86,876 square feet of campus devoted to research
OU endowments totaled more than $84 million as of June 2015
acres of wooded hills and meadow make up OU's main campus
percent of faculty hold doctoral degrees
106,000 alumni with 72 percent living in Michigan
810 international students study at Oakland University
incoming freshmen average ACT score
incoming freshmen average GPA
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