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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Next steps in 4 University of Michigan construction projects before regents this week

By Kellie Woodhouse


An aerial view of University of Michigan's downtown Ann Arbor campus.

University of Michigan is moving forward with the next steps of four large construction projects.

The school is putting a $60 million South Quadrangle dormitory renovation to bid to area contractors. Renovation of the 1,180-bed dorm's dining center, common areas and bathrooms was approved by the school's governing board in September and the schematic design was approved last month. South Quad will become a dining hub of central campus as the school plans to close nearby dining centers.

Construction will take a year, ending the summer of 2014. U-M officials estimate the project will provide an average of 131 on-site construction jobs.

Meanwhile, the school also is putting the construction of a 10,200-square-foot new softball facility to bid. The project was first approved by regents, who OK'd the $4 million budget, in October. Now, officials are asking to increase the construction budget to $5.3 million, with all funding provided by athletic department resources.

That project is expected to provide an average of 19 jobs and be completed by winter 2014.

The softball facility is part of an effort by athletic director Dave Brandon to put $250 million into upgrading non-revenue sports facilities in coming years.

The revised project budget and schematic design, along with authorization to issue both projects for construction bids, will be discussed by the Board of Regents during a public meeting Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Michigan Union.

The design for a $55 million renovation to 137,000 square feet of the Alfred Taubman Health Sciences Library, a project first approved in September, also will be discussed by regents.

The upgrade includes a new clinical simulation area for the medical school, a study area and a computer lab, in addition to the renovation of the existing library, which is primarily used by medical and pharmaceutical researchers and students.

Regents also will discuss a $1.8 million roof replacement for the Earl V. Moore building, which houses U-M's School of Music, Theater and Dance. The roof on that building, which is scheduled to receive a separate $23.5 million renovation, was last replaced in 1986, according to a university memo.

That project is expected to provide 18 construction jobs and be completed in the fall, while the library renovation is anticipated to provide 72 construction jobs and be completed in the fall of 2015.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

I like seeing the reported "added jobs" statistic on the projects.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

There is still time to halt the new electronic billboard at the stadium. It occurs to me that sunsets will soon forever include that testament to the u's profligate spending. Dare I mention the menace it presents to drivers and cyclists on Stadium? It will add a new dimension to the bumper car scene at Kipke and at Main.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

What about the new rowing facility for the Men's and Women's Rowing teams? When is that construction scheduled to begin? The Women's Rowing team won the Big 10 and came in second at NCAAs, which was the highest NCAA standing of any Michigan team last year. Almost all the teams they race against have indoor tanks for training. Better facilities help you recruit the best talent.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

I would agree with Kafka. I have written the powers that be about the deplorable conditions at the CCRB (and the IM and NCRB are not much better). I also have been to WMU, MSU, GVSU and EMU and can say that UM recreational facilities are sub par to any of these institutions.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

Agreed - the rowing facilities need an upgrade. I'm not so sure about the indoor tank, though. I used to row competetively twenty years ago, and we had an indoor tank that we never found useful. Basically, it was just used for warm-up before weight training, and that's something you can do on an erg just as well. But perhaps these tanks have evolved over the last years to the point where they're actually closer to the real thing and worthwhile... The facility I realy want to see upgraded is CCRB. It's an embrassment. You can't show it to prospective students any more. It's that terrible.

An Arborigine

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

Nice that their spending is going to employ some of the locals who have been footing their tax bill.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

I hope they allocate enough money to make South Quad smell better.