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Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 2 p.m.

University of Michigan's $132 million Kellogg Eye Center expansion to welcome patients Monday

By Nathan Bomey

Brehm Center.jpg

The University of Michigan is opening its $132 million Brehm Tower, an addition to the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, on Monday.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

The University of Michigan will welcome patients Monday to its new 8-story, 230,000-square-foot, $132 million eye care and diabetes research and clinical complex, officials announced today.

The moment marks the culmination of a W.K. Kellogg Eye Center expansion project approved by the U-M Board of Regents in July 2005. Construction started in September 2006.

The expansion is called the Brehm Tower, a Wall Street facility whose presence notably alters the skyline of U-M's massive medical campus in central Ann Arbor.

The university said in a statement it plans to add about 100 jobs at the Kellogg Eye Center over the next five to seven years to meet increased demand and staff its new capacity.

U-M said the new tower, which provides 50 percent more space than the university had for similar work before, includes:

  • Seven eye care clinics with new suites to house refractive and cosmetic surgery.
  • New labs designed to house research for the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research.
  • Larger waiting areas, spacious clinical areas and additional exam rooms.

"While today, many patients travel to see Kellogg specialists, we will soon have the capacity to serve many more individuals who seek a destination for advanced eye care," Paul R. Lichter, chair of U-M's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, wrote in a winter newsletter. "With additional laboratories, we will add new research faculty to join current faculty in their dedicated search for cures to eye disease. For residents and fellows, the Eye Center will be the ultimate teaching laboratory, where trainees will experience the newest ophthalmological techniques and knowledge."

The tower is named after Virginia couple Delores S. and William K. Brehm, who donated $44 million to U-M in November 2004. Some $30 million of that was dedicated for this project, U-M said in 2005.

U-M's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences raised $10 million in donations to support the expansion, and U-M provided funding from the accounts of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers.

The Kellogg Eye Center had about 78,313 outpatient visitors in 2009, up from 36,852 in 1985, U-M said.

The university plans to celebrate the expansion in April with tours, a dedication ceremony and appearances from National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins and National Eye Institute Director Paul A. Sieving.

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Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 3:39 p.m.

The general contractor is called Gilbane/Clark Joint Venture, with Gilbane Building Co. and Clark Construction Company forming the partnership. There are over 40 different subcontractors (companies) on the project (or formerly on the project) while GCJV acts as the construction manager. I'm the administrative assistant at the Gilbane/Clark Joint Venture trailer for the Kellogg Eye Center jobsite. I'm not sure how many contacts you have for the story or how busy they are, but if you have any questions for the story you can email me over the weekend at and I'll get back to you promptly.

Nathan Bomey

Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 1:22 p.m.

Designed by TSA of Massachusetts and built by Gilbane Building Co./Clark Construction Co. Also -- stay tuned for a more in-depth story on Sunday. We'll have a slideshow of photos and video.


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

It's not completely finished yet but ready for patients on Monday. I've been waiting to see this come up in the news! Would have been nice to see some credit given to the guys who built it (Gilbane/Clark Joint Venture). I work in the trailer office for GCJV. Thank goodness for all the new jobs!


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 1:01 p.m.

Who designed it? Who built it? this should be critical information in any article on construction.

Tom Perkins

Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 9:32 p.m.

Money well spent!

The Grinch

Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 5:18 p.m.

I'm glad that the U of M is modernizing so many of its facilities. Now I wonder if it might open up its coffers and help the City of Ann Arbor to fix the Stadium bridges.