A major renovation of the University of Michigan-Flint Murchie Science Building (MSB) will now move forward following the approval by the state legislature of a bill to provide $613 million for projects at nine public universities.
The estimated cost of the MSB project is $22,170,000. The state will fund nearly $17 million and UM-Flint will fund about $5.5 million with university resources.
In the request for Capital Outlay funding, the university focused on growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs to meet current and future needs. The condition and design of the current 24-year-old laboratories in the science building impedes the attainment of these critical goals.
"We need to address the demands of educating our current students while simultaneously planning for the influx of even more students in the S.T.E.M. areas during the next 5-10 years," said Chancellor Ruth J. Person. "The University of Michigan-Flint has made expansion of its programs to train future scientists and science educators a top priority."
The full renovation is expected to take about two years.
The project will include, among other things:
– The creation of two (2) new interactive classrooms
– Approximately 115 fume hoods will be replaced in order to facilitate a safer environment for students and improved energy efficiency
– Cosmetic upgrades to common areas (corridors and student collaborative spaces)
– A new cold room will be created to provide proper storage in the gross anatomy lab
– Accessibility improvements will be made to restroom facilities
– The fire alarm system will be upgraded throughout the building
– Electrical upgrades will include replacement of automatic transfer switches and installation of several new panels
"The biology department added a Master of Science (in Biology) program which requires an additional 24-student lab to accommodate student demand at the undergraduate and graduate levels," said Bill Webb, assistant vice chancellor for Business and Finance. "Many existing MSB wet labs require extensive renovation, such as replacement of fume hoods and hood controls, as well as updating scientific equipment."