Plans for the University of Michigan-Flint's William R. Murchie Science Building expansion continue to move forward, as the Board of Regents approved the schematic design Thursday.
The $39 million project will greatly expand UM-Flint's campus footprint by adding more than 65,000 square feet and a third wing to the current Murchie building structure that houses the majority of science, technology, engineering and math programs for the campus.
Over the past 10 years, enrollment in UM-Flint STEM programs has grown 84 percent and this expansion, focused on new and contemporary designs, will provide much-needed updates and additional space to continue future growth.
"We are extremely excited to move to the next phase of planning for the expansion of this important facility," said Mike Hague, UM-Flint vice chancellor of business and finance. "This planned addition will provide new state-of-the-art architecture and interactive learning spaces essential to our high-quality programs and ensure that UM-Flint facilities remain on the cutting-edge in the fields of STEM."
Back in 2016, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded UM-Flint with an $11 million grant to support the campus' continued growth of STEM studies. The largest portion of the grant provided $7.5 million to help match UM-Flint's portion of the state of Michigan's capital outlay appropriation for the Murchie expansion.
"This transformative project is another example of UM-Flint responding to the vision set forth by founders including Charles Stewart Mott to be the driving force for academic excellence, leadership, and service in Flint and the region," said Chancellor Susan E. Borrego. "The Mott Foundation is an extraordinary partner and this investment will create significant additional opportunities for our campus, students and community."
The Board of Regents also authorized issuing bids and awarding construction contracts for the project. The project is expected to provide an average of 100 on-site construction jobs. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2020.
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