The University Record, March 22, 1993

Engler recommends $89 million for capital projects

By Jane R. Elgass

“She’s a gracious old lady who shows her age very well.” That’s the assessment of Angell Hall by Henry D. Halloway, assistant to the LS&A dean, facilities.

And his smile sweeps widely across his face as he envisions the wonders that will be worked when renovations begin on the building, named for President James Burrill Angell (1871–1909) and completed in 1924.

Renovations to Angell Hall and the C.C. Little Building are part of a Central Campus renovations project that will receive capital outlay funding.

Gov. John Engler recommended last week that the Ann Arbor campus receive $89 million in capital outlay funds. Of the total, $32 million is targeted for the Central Campus project. The remaining $57 million will fund the Integrated Technology Center/Engineering Center on North Campus.

The governor recommended a total of $770 million for construction projects at state universities, community colleges and state agencies. His recommendations require legislative approval.

In announcing his recommendations, Engler said the “budget expands on my commitment to education by beginning to rebuild the infrastructure at Michigan’s community colleges and universities. These projects will not only provide thousands of jobs now, but the effort will result in establishing the educational foundation which will prepare our citizens for the high-tech, high-paying jobs of the future.”

The Integrated Technology Instruction/Engineering Center on North Campus was authorized for study and planning as the North Campus General Library in 1971. Subsequently it was expanded to include facilities for the computing center, for public access terminals and for additional classrooms.

In addition, the facility will include offices for College of Engineering administration and student services, and additional laboratories for the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

Almost all of the renovation work in Angell Hall will be devoted to replacing and upgrading infrastructure elements, such as heating, ventilation and piping units, installing a new roof system, replacing windows as necessary, modernizing the electrical system, bringing the building up to code and to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Paul A. Spradlin, director of plant extension, says some changes may be made to meet pressing programmatic needs. Decisions on these will be made by LS&A.

According to Spradlin, it will be 15 to 18 months before any work is begun on C.C. Little and probably two-and-one-half to three years before work begins on Angell.

To date, and for the near future, the University has relied on quick fixes to make the building usable.

“We’ve been doing what’s possible so far,” Spradlin says. “We try to make the building livable, habitable by patching walls and ceilings and clamping weakened pipes.”

A quick tour of the building uncovers many of the problems, including:

—Old stalls in restrooms that are not accessible to persons with handicaps.

—One air circulation fan for an entire wing of the building, resulting in stuffy, smelly air.

—Weakened, disintegrating pipes that have rusted over their own holes or have clamps to hold them together.

—Offices with large steam pipes near the ceiling that radiate heat year-round, making summer work almost unbearable.

—1920s-style telephone wires and computer wiring strung through hallways and into office areas.

—Steel windows that have warped as the building has settled over the years and, once opened, cannot be shut. This leads to problems with pests, including nesting pigeons.

—Inadequate lighting.