The University Record, November 26, 1997

U receives $79 million from state for much-needed renovations

The Frieze Building, completed in 1907, is one of the academic facilities scheduled for renovations with capital outlay funding from the state. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

By Kerry Colligan

The University will receive $79 million from the state of Michigan for capital outlay projects on the Ann Arbor campus. The funds will support projects to renovate the Frieze, Perry and LS&A buildings, Mason and Haven halls, and a small section of West Hall. For the first time, capital outlay funds were given as part of a cost-sharing program forcing institutions to look carefully at their priorities and at the need to raise 25 percent of the funds, according to Cynthia Wilbanks, associate vice president for university relations.

"The major thrust of the project is to bring the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems up to date, making the buildings more accessible and more receptive to changing needs," said Bill Dergis, interim director of plant extension. "None of these buildings have had a complete building renewal project during their lifetime. These renovations will extend the expected life of the buildings approximately 50 years."

Taken together, the buildings house more than 30 individual units, 100 classrooms, 1,200 offices and more than 750,000 gross square feet of space.

Because it is not feasible to take all the buildings out of service at the same time, Dergis says the projects will be completed in two parallel sequences, beginning with the Perry Building and Haven Hall and dividing the rest of the work into sections for completion as soon as schedules allow.

"For the last 15 years, the University has been renovating its old central core teaching facilities," Dergis says. "With the completion of these projects, we will be a major step closer to the end of that process."