The University Record, July 19 , 1999

First step of many for life sciences institute building gets go-ahead

By Wono Lee
News and Information Services

This illustration shows proposed sites for the Life Sciences Institute building (1), a parking structure (2) and a non-lab academic building over the parking structure (3). The approximate overall site limits for facilities related to the life sciences initiative are defined by the heavy dotted line. Base map source, Facilities Planning and Design. Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates Inc.
Approval to proceed with the programming of the Life Sciences Institute building and the design of the Palmer Drive parking structure was given by the Regents at their July meeting.

“As we begin the programming phase, we would like to utilize the services of the design firm that will have responsibility for the design of the Institute building,” said Robert Kasdin, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We recommend at this time commissioning the firms of SHG Inc. and Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates Inc. (VSBA) to design the Institute building. We propose SHG as the architect-of-record, and that VSBA lead the design of the building.

“Further, we recommend appointing VSBA as the design firm for the parking structure, working in conjunction with Desman Associates, a Chicago-based parking consultant. The parking structure design will allow the construction of a building above the structure should a need arise and funding be available.

Kasdin said a more specific definition of the scope of the projects through the programming effort and further site studies is forthcoming. “We plan to return to the Regents in the fall with preliminary estimates, and a fuller description of each project.”

The Regents authorized the creation of the Life Sciences Institute in May.

At the May Regents’ meeting, a portion of the Life Sciences Initiative presentation focused on the concept of planning a facility for the Institute’s laboratory functions. The Palmer Drive site, located immediately south of the Power Plant, on Washtenaw Avenue, was presented as the recommended site. The concept plan that was discussed at that meeting incorporated a parking structure, similar to a structure approved by the Regents in November 1996.