Regents approve schematic designs for Science Building renovations

Science Building renderingUniversity of Michigan-Dearborn moved one step closer in its pursuit to provide students, faculty and staff with a 21st century science experience.

On April 18, University of Michigan’s Board of Regents approved schematic designs for the Science Building renovation project. The exterior renderings, which reveal the building’s proposed elevation, were designed by SHW Group, the architecture firm approved for the project in September.

“I am confident that a renovated Science Building not only will better serve our students in the near term, but also be a wise investment in the future of preparing students for the jobs and economy of tomorrow,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.

The renovation will be funded, in part, by a $30 million capital outlay that was approved last June by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature. The university will cover the remainder of the $51 million project.

Construction on the Science Building, which was built in 1959, is expected to conclude by Fall 2016.

Faculty and staff soon will relocate to other campus buildings as crews renovate the Science Building. One of those buildings is Fairlane Center North, which will undergo a $1.5 million renovation to accommodate several non-academic units.

Regents authorized the funding last week. Renovations at Fairlane Center North are slated to begin this summer and conclude in January.

Prior to the Regents’ decision, UM-Dearborn’s Facilities Planning team worked in conjunction with students, faculty, staff and other officials over the past two years to determine what renovations were needed to accommodate academic and support programs and the most effective way to manage those changes.

University leaders proposed renovations to the Science Building, in part, because of an increase in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. The renovation will reduce the number of classrooms and faculty offices within the Science Building to make room for additional lab and collaborative space, where students can apply what they learn in the classroom.

“Not only will there be modernization of the space, but there will be an expansion of space,” said Don Bord, department of natural sciences chair. “It allows us to meet the demands of students, and do so in a fully 21st century fashion.”

Mark your calendars for these projected construction dates:

  • August 2013: Construction begins at the Social Sciences Building and Fairlane Center North; Construction complete by January 2014
  • August 2013: Construction begins to distribute the open computing stations; Construction complete by January 2014
  •  January 2014: Construction begins in Academic Support Center and Computing Wing; Construction complete by October 2014
  • Spring 2014 (Phase I): Construction begins on the elevator tower in the Science Building; Construction complete by Spring 2015
  • Spring 2015 (Phase II): Renovations and additions begin in the Science Building; Renovations and additions complete by Fall 2016

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