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CoE highlights capital plans for regents

Leaders in the College of Engineering (CoE) hope the Board of Regents will approve an $88 million plan for a new building and additional construction, as well as the renovation of two existing campus buildings. The proposal was outlined during a presentation to the board Sept. 19, with the expectation that regents will vote on the plan and approve the choice of an architect in October.

The proposal calls for construction of a new computer science and engineering (CSE) building that would be adjacent to the HH Dow facility, in the northwest corner of the engineering complex.

"The building will house the entire current CSE faculty, who are presently spread out over three buildings, as well as accommodate expected faculty growth in this area over the next decade," Engineering Dean Stephen Director told regents.

The proposal also includes an addition to the biomedical engineering building and renovation of the current structure. Director said the goal is to consolidate research activities currently conducted throughout the engineering campus.

An expansion of the Solid State Electronics Lab and renovation of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building round out the CoE proposal.

Director said the construction plans reflect the college's increasingly important roles in health care, the life sciences and the war on terrorism. In addition, he described three "emerging areas" of research and education: computer science and information technology, nanotechnology and microsystems, and cellular and molecular biotechnology.

"These areas were chosen because of their importance to society, because of their strategic relevance to the needs of our nation, because they build on a foundation of expertise we already have established, and because they mesh well with the broader intellectual directions of the University as a whole, including the Life Sciences Initiative and the President's Information Revolution Commission," Director said.

Director said CoE already has secured commitments of $48 million for the new construction projects from a number of sources, including an allocation of $23 million from a $25 million gift from Ann Lurie; $750,000 from the Verl Hawks Trust; and $8 million of a $10 million grant from the Whitaker Foundation. The University has committed $4 million to the project.

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